K-18, Poyntz Avenue, closures are on City Commission’s agenda

By Burk Krohe

Due to their two-week hiatus earlier this month, city commissioners will have both a work session and special meeting Tuesday, starting at 5 p.m. Commissioners will discuss K-18 closures and Poyntz Avenue improvements during the work session. They will also discuss a loan for water meters and the Tecumseh-Quivera stormwater system improvements at the special meeting.

According to a city memo key dates for the K-18 project include:

Kansas Department of Transportation officials moved westbound and eastbound traffic west of the airport entrance to the new K-18 alignment today. Motorists now have to use the crossover to transition from the old K-18 alignment to the new K-18 alignment. 

At the same time, the Davis Drive connection to K-18 was closed. Residents south of K-18 will need to use Allison Avenue and Stagg Hill Road to K-113/Seth Child Road Interchange or Rosencutter Road to K-18 for eastbound and westbound access. 

On March 19, the Miller Parkway connection to K-18 will be closed. Residents north of K-18 will need to use Amherst Road to K-113/Seth Child Road then south to K-18 for eastbound and westbound access. At the same time, K-18 traffic will be head to head (one lane eastbound, one lane westbound) starting just west of K-113 west to Ogden. 

May 1 is the target date for the completion and opening of Shuss Road to alleviate congestion for Arbor Heights and Johnson Valley residents to access Southwind Place and K-113/Seth Child Road Interchange. 

Poyntz improvements

In 2010, The City Commission received a request from Downtown Manhattan Inc. to include improvements to the district in the city’s capital improvement program. In August of that year, commissioners approved a budget including three improvement projects.

Late last year, Bowman Bowman Novick presented a scope and preliminary designs for improvements along Poyntz Avenue, 4th Street, and 3rd Street. City officials proposed covering the costs of the improvements via a benefit district. Early discussions seemed to indicate the city would participate at 76 percent and the owners at 24 percent. However, city officials and downtown business owners discussed lowering the scope of the project to reduce financial impact to the owners.

The city is proposing two new scenarios for the project in addition to what was initially proposed. The initial proposal was for a $3.48 million project with the city picking up 76 percent of the project and the business owners picking up 24 percent of project.

One new scenario is consistent with previous discussions, suggesting the city contribute $1 million and the balance funded by a two-thirds city, one-third benefit district split.  Of the $2,933,998 in total costs for the reduced scope, the city would fund the first $1 million from existing funds in the Downtown Fund, then split the remaining $1,933,998 with the owners within the district on a two-thirds, one-third basis. 

This scenario would result in the city picking up about 78 percent of the cost, while the business owners would be responsible for about 22 percent.

The other new scenario is much different. The city would assume almost all of the costs, roughly the same amount of revenue that can be covered by the downtown fund and future TIF bond revenues. The city would pay for 95 percent of $2.93 million project and the business owners would pay 5 percent through a benefit district.


The city is also intent on replacing 4,767 older manually read water meters with new automatic meter reading (AMR) meters. The city presented its plan to replace the older meters with AMR meters to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) last spring. KDHE responded positively and encouraged the city to apply to its Kansas Public Water Supply Loan Fund (KPWSLF) for funding.

The estimated cost of the project is $3.08 million, and last summer, the city received a letter from the KDHE identifying project for full funding through the KPWSLF.

KDHE requires the City Commission to pass an ordinance authorizing execution of the loan.  After an ordinance is passed, the mayor and city clerk, must approve and sign the loan agreement.  Essentially, in order to proceed, the City Commission must approve the project and authorize its construction.

The loan has a 10-year repayment schedule that begins either one year after project completion or two years after the first disbursement, whichever comes first.


Stormwater improvements

Commissioners will also discuss stormwater improvements for the Tecumseh-Quivera area. The improvements would include detention and an enclosed storm sewer from Tecumseh Road south and east to Denison Avenue.

After flooding last spring, the city and community have focused on proactive solutions to drainage issues. The problem in that area is the speed at which stormwater progresses through the watershed and lack of adequate sewer system.

Stormwater moves overland quickly, until it hits Claflin Road and Harford Road where the existing stormwater system becomes overwhelmed and floods Claflin Road. Flooding is also common at the intersection of Tecumseh Road and Quivera Road.

Appropriate stormwater sewers and detention could prevent flooding in the area.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502 | Copyright 2017