City of Pleasant Hill Improves Trail Connectivity with Roadway ImprovementsPosted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2022 by Linda Rottinghaus
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When we first began work on the 163rd Street Improvements with the City of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, they wanted to replace the temporary signal with a permanent one to increase safety. They also planned to connect the school to the trail on Route 7. As they were planning the project, a developer added a gas station to the other side of the intersection. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) required them to upgrade the signal. With this component of their project underway and funded by the developer, the city was able to adjust their planned scope.
163rd Street was in poor condition and had regular maintenance issues. Instead of replacing the signal, the city decided to reconstruct the roadway and keep their plans to expand the trail. This approach would make the roadway safer for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
The city selected asphalt for the roadway due to its ease of maintenance. With an Intermediate School within the project site, they wanted to accommodate the bus traffic and reduce future maintenance needed. As a result, they chose to reinforce the pavement using 8 inches of aggregate, which is higher than the typical 4 to 6 inches.
To enhance the trail along Route 7, we designed and added new sidewalks on both sides of the road, extending the multi-use trail. These improvements connect back to the existing path and are part of the city’s long-term plan to continue this pathway to the east.
The Affinis design team made a few stormwater improvements to the area. We extended the small culverts in the low spots and installed sidewalk flumes under the trail, which convey runoff from the curb and gutter to a ditch on the other side. We also analyzed the roadway at one culvert which was low. With heavy rain, water would overtop it. To solve the issue, we raised the roadway and cleaned out the culvert. Here, we had to balance raising the profile, while keeping within the existing right-of-way.
Because the Intermediate School was located on 163rd Street, it was important to the city that we work around the school’s schedule. The project was let in spring, and construction began in June. Over the summer, we were able to close this section of the road and were required to have it open when the teachers came back. Our team was able to hit that target, meeting the community’s needs.
With the 163rd Street improvements in place, the city has achieved their goals. They are able to move their community forward by improving connectivity and safety, while decreasing maintenance costs.