Though the timing is unfortunate, Independence officials say improvements at Noland Road and 39th Street could not be delayed until after nearby bridges over Interstate 70 have been constructed.

The Missouri Department of Transportation recently demolished the bridges spanning I-70 at Phelps, Crysler and Pittman roads – the first two of which are on either side of Noland Road – and plan to have the rebuilt bridges completed in December.

The Noland and 39th project – new traffic signals, curb and gutter replacement at all four corners and a new right turn lane from northbound Noland onto 39th – is time sensitive because of the federal-local funding split, Public Works Director Tim Gramling said. Three years ago, the city gained approval to have 80 percent funded through the federal Surface Transportation Program. The project, planned for two years and already delayed a year, had to be completed this year. Bid proposals went out in March.

In most states with a wide range in seasons, May through September tends to be the prime season for road construction projects in order to avoid cold-weather complications. The Noland and 39th intersection, generally one of busiest dozen or so in the city, figures to have some increased traffic due to the detours for Phelps and Crysler.

“There's always the potential for multiple projects (in an area),” city spokesperson Meg Lewis. “We have to keep moving forward.”

When the project is completed in September, there will be new ADA sidewalks and curb ramps all turns will be improved, the city said. After the traffic signal work is one, one lane in each direction will be closed – one at a time – to work on the curbs.