City of Gardner Improves Safety for Students and Families on Waverly Road

Posted on Tuesday, June 20th, 2023 by
In Roadway, Stormwater, tagged in

Waverly Road, from US Highway 56 to Fountain Street, is a largely residential area characterized by two, local schools. The City of Gardner, Kansas wanted to improve safety and traffic flow for Gardner/Edgerton High School and Madison Elementary, as well as local drivers. During pick-up and drop-off, traffic was congested for both those turning left into the schools and anyone attempting to access one of the side streets.

The project began with extensive design exploration. The Affinis team analyzed multiple solutions over the course of two years. During that time, they considered adding a signal to the high school’s entrance on Madison Street. However, it did not meet the warrant criteria. They also looked at incorporating a roundabout at the intersection to increase safety and traffic flow. Ultimately, Gardner decided to add a 3-lane section from Santa Fe to Madison, which was budget-friendly and cost-effective, as the plan repurposed the existing pavement.

When looking at stormwater solutions, Waverly Road’s topography was an important factor as the area is very flat. The existing site featured an open ditch stormwater system. Our team analyzed implementing a closed system instead. However, extremely flat terrain would have required an excessive number of inlets which would have increased the overall project cost. Instead, a shallow nyloplast (high-density polypropylene pipe – HPPP) drainage system and open ditch were designed to capture and convey runoff. This also simplified the connection to the shallow downstream system. This approach provided the best overall solution for this project.

Another important component of this project was the addition of a bike/hike trail on the eastside of the roadway. For several years, the City of Gardner has been expanding their trail system on the northside of Santa Fe and the eastside of Waverly from Santa Fe to Madison. These improvements will provide greater access to Gardner for pedestrians and bicyclists and help achieve the city’s larger goals.

With two schools within the site constraints, construction phasing was critical to the project’s success. The north section of the project near Madison Elementary was completed when school was out of session. This was arranged, so we didn’t disrupt the traffic circulation pattern for the area. Then, Waverly Road, from Santa Fe North to Fountain Street, was completed in the fall. Santa Fe South to US-56 and the trail section on the northside of 175th Street for Kill Creek to Waverly Road were constructed the following year.

Affinis’s approach achieved the city’s goals to increase traffic flow and safety for the area. It also allowed Gardner to leverage their existing infrastructure by designing solutions that worked within their budget. By linking the new bike/hike trail to their larger system, we continue to support the City of Gardner, Kansas in their efforts toward moving their community forward.

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