Major construction projects beginning in early August will temporarily prevent patrons from completing the driving loop around Shawnee Mission Park, or biking or walking the complete 17-mile length of the Gary L. Haller Trail on the Mill Creek Streamway Park. Both projects are dependent upon favorable weather.
In Shawnee Mission Park, the road across the dam (John Barkley Drive) will be closed for an estimated three to four weeks beginning Aug. 2 to accommodate a safety improvement project. The project is not actually on the dam, but starts at the south end and proceeds about 570 feet (slightly more than a tenth of a mile) south to the road to Shelter #8. The road will be closed from the road to the shelter and all the way across the dam.
This project will involve milling and overlaying this portion of the road, and adding six-foot-wide asphalt shoulders on each side. This project will not change the gradient of the road. Other aspects of the project will involve clearing excess vegetation from the roadside, installing new pavement markings and traffic signs, constructing a ten-foot-wide trail from Shelter #8 to the enhanced shoulder on Barkley Drive, and constructing a paved trail connection from the south end of the dam to the existing paved sidewalk long the dam, which currently comes to an abrupt end without a connection to the south.
“The overall goal of this project is to improve safety for all park patrons, including motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, on the steep, tight curve of this segment of John Barkley Drive,” said Project Manager Bill Leek.
During this project, the road will not be passable, including by pedestrians and bicyclists, and the sidewalk along the dam can still be used for walking and fishing, but will be closed about three-quarters of the way to the south end.
The Mill Creek Streamway Park project will involve the replacement of a bridge located between the Barker and Midland access points and will close a less than a mile-long portion of the trail south of the Barker access point and north of the Midland access point. The closure is expected to begin about Aug. 3 with preparatory work, and last an estimated ten to 12 weeks.
The existing bridge, which was first installed in 1991, has received stormwater damage over the years and is considered at the end of its useful lifespan. The existing 110-foot bridge will be replaced with a new 130-foot bridge with concrete decking rather than wood.
As with the road project in Shawnee Mission Park, patrons on bike or on foot will not be able to get past the construction area and missing bridge on the trail.