After years of designing, seeking funding and just plain tenacity, Martin City is finally reaping the rewards of major improvements along 135th Street. Last month, our efforts were publicly recognized at the Kansas City Business Journal’s Capstone Awards luncheon. Thirty-two development and real estate projects from around the metro were honored, the most awards honored in a single year in the history of the program, and Phase 1 of our own 135th Street Improvement project was on the list of honorees.
The 32 Capstone Award winners were chosen by a panel of judges from applications submitted in a variety of categories, from adaptive reuse and green design to multifamily and retail. The projects, all completed in 2014, are not just the area’s biggest, but the projects that contribute most to the community. Infrastructure projects, such as our 135th Street project, have improved access to local businesses, and made a once narrow strip of road a walkable area with the addition of sidewalks.
The area between Holmes Road and Oak Street was very narrow, said Damon Hodges, project manager with Public Works. “It is an older, established area, and we had to retrofit the roadway in between existing restaurants in the area,” he said. “In most areas, the buildings come in after the roadway; with this one, the buildings were already there.”
Maintaining access to businesses, particularly restaurants, was difficult. In addition, Hodges said, a train runs through several times a day. Contractors had to be conscious of the train as they installed roadway and be careful of backing up cars to keep the tracks clear and business driveways open.
“For so many years this area was underserved,” Hodges said. “So we brought in new infrastructure, upgraded the traffic signal and put in sidewalks where you didn’t have sidewalks before. Initially, you just pretty much had a narrow road with ditches. You couldn’t walk anywhere in the area without walking in the street.”
So many people helped us with our project and we are so excited that it was recognized. Thank you to the City of Kansas City, Mo, Councilmen John Sharp and Scott Taylor, the Martin City Community Improvement District Board, Jackson County Public Works Department, City Manager Troy Schulte, the PIAC members, KCMO Public Works Department, KCMO Water Department and all the businesses and community leaders who helped us move this project forward!
For complete details about Phase 1 of the 135th Street Improvement project, click here.
View all 32 Capstone Award Winners here.
References: KC Business Journal