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Examiner
  • U.S. 40 Corridor Study nears completion

  • As the Mid America Regional Council begins to wind down its study of the U.S. 40 corridor, city leaders are determining where to go from here.

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  • As the Mid America Regional Council begins to wind down its study of the U.S. 40 corridor, city leaders are determining where to go from here.
    Britt Palmberg, a consultant with Design Workshop, made a presentation to the Blue Springs City Council this week about MARC's progress on the study. It is one of six corridors in the Kansas City area being studied to determine how it can better function within the communities tied to the area. The focus of the U.S. 40 project is specifically on three intersections - Prospect Avenue in Kansas City, Noland Road in Independence and Adams Dairy Parkway in Blue Springs. Community members were invited to meetings last fall to discuss the overall opinion of the corridor as well as what can be done to improve the functionality of the area. After these initial meetings, conceptual plans were developed to address the redevelopment and growth potential along U.S. 40.
    “We are really looking at a lot of older areas that were, for the most part, developed in the 1950s and 1960s or even before,” he said. “We want to look at how to retrofit these existing areas and give them an opportunity to grow.”
    Palmberg said one of the keys to making the Adams Dairy Parkway intersection into a shopping and business destination is the development of the Missouri Innovation Park, located on the northeast corner of the intersection. This corner is also one of the proposed commuter rail stops in the city, another magnet for economic development. The second proposed stop is in downtown Blue Springs.
    But the U.S. 40 corridor is not without its problems including dilapidated buildings, vacancies and the overall aesthetic up and down the highway.
    “It really is a multi-headed monster that you are trying to plan for,” Palmberg said. “Cities are looking at how to use this as a resource, as a major transportation corridor. How do we provide a better window dressing to the city as people come in (referring to the Adams Dairy Parkway intersection).”
    Some of the options that MARC has developed for the intersection including keeping the existing land uses the same, which is mostly light industrial, and creating a mixture of land uses with the proposed commuter rail system in mind. During a final community meeting in March, the preferred plan for the area will be announced.
    “By that time we can put forth a recommendation to the city council and that information can be put into the comprehensive plan for the city,” Palmberg said. “The idea of the study is to create sustainable places, vibrant and connected green areas. We want to increase the marketability of these areas.”
     
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