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Merriam moves ahead with redesign of key downtown corridor

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Original post by Juliana Garcia, Shawnee Mission Post

The Merriam City Council on Monday approved a nearly $450,000 design contract with Overland Park-based BHC Engineering for Merriam Drive improvements.

BHC has previously been involved in road and stormwater improvements projects with the City of Merriam. The company received a City Public Improvement Award for 55th Street storm improvements in Merriam.

Why it matters: The design scope includes the portion of Merriam Drive from Johnson Drive to 55th Street, which runs directly through the city’s downtown area.

While this is simply the design contract, the final project when completed aims to bring new curb and gutters, sidewalks, pavement, and bike lanes to that stretch.

Background: This contract approval comes more than six months after the city hosted a Merriam Drive Connected Corridor input session.

The connected corridor plan is a vision for Merriam Drive as it runs through not only Merriam but also north through Overland Park, Mission and Kansas City, Kansas.

The connected corridor plan is in its beginning stages and envisions a more connected and accessible thoroughfare, according to the plan’s website.

Bikeability and walkability are two key focus areas of the plan, and the recently approved design contract includes not only new sidewalks but also bike lanes.

The details: After BHC Engineering fulfills the design contract, Public Works Superintendent Jim MacDonald said the city will request funding from the County Assistance Road Systems program to complete construction.

The city council unanimously approved the almost $450,000 contract.

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