City of Overland Park Reinvests in Neighborhoods with Residential Streets ProgramPosted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 by Kristen Leathers-Gratton
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Every year, the City of Overland Park, Kansas reinvests in its infrastructure. One component of that practice is their residential streets program. Our team first helped with these efforts in 1992. Over the years, we’ve partnered numerous times. Starting in 2016, we worked together to design and reconstruct the infrastructure for the Glenwood Estates community.
The city originally planned to make improvements to 1.5 miles of this residential neighborhood. When the mill levy was raised, they were able to double the size of the project – increasing it to cover 3 miles. In addition to addressing stormwater capacity issues, the city used this project as an opportunity to replace failing corrugated metal pipes (CMP) within the neighborhood. Overland Park also used funding from the Stormwater Management Program (SMP) to tackle localized flooding and further leverage city dollars. Their goals were to:
- Bring the streets up to the city’s standards.
- Address the storm sewer issues by replacing failing infrastructure and extending systems upstream for additional capacity.
- Create connectivity by replacing and adding sidewalk.
- Improve safety for pedestrians and vehicles.
Streets in the neighborhood were over 50 years old. They had exceeded their life cycle and were in need of full reconstruction. To match the city’s current standards, we removed the asphalt pavement and reconstructed it with concrete pavement. Sidewalks, curb, and gutter were reconstructed, and new LED streetlighting was installed.
During that tear-out, we were able to tackle the storm sewer issues. We added inlets to pick water up off the street, so driving lanes won’t flood. We also replaced and up-sized the existing storm sewer system in side and back yards. These changes helped to alleviate the areas with chronic flooding and drainage issues, helping owners better maintain their properties.
An eight-foot trail on the northside of West 91st Street was added to complete the trail from Antioch to Hemlock. Now, residents can use it to reach Metcalf and access Cherokee Park on 91st Terrace. We also added sidewalks to all streets, linking the neighborhood for pedestrians. Prior to the project, there were several streets without them.
Safety was a priority for the city, and we made a number of changes to increase it. We reviewed the control of every intersection to see if it could be improved. In one case, we changed a “Y” intersection into a “T” to raise visibility for drivers. This alteration also shortened crossing distances for pedestrians, making them safer. Along with these updates, we added street lights and upgraded both new and existing to the city’s standard LED.
The 2018 Overland Park Residential Street Program delivered for constituents in a number of ways. It has helped residents maintain property values, while also adding valuable benefits. For this neighborhood, that translated to greater pedestrian connectivity, safer roadways, and more robust storm sewer facilities. These kinds of upgrades ensure communities continue to attract new residents and the next generation.