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Three Shawnee sidewalk projects enter design phase

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star

Shawnee has been lining streets with sidewalks at an aggressive pace for a few years; now three significant sidewalk projects are entering the design phase after the Shawnee City Commission unanimously voted Monday to approve contracts with three separate firms.

Thanks to a collaborative effort between the Avedis Foundation and the City of Shawnee, matching grants have been funding these sidewalk goals across the community in alignment with the city's Comprehensive Plan and a Master Trail and sidewalk initiative sparked by the Parks Master Plan adopted in 2015.

“In 2017 the city was awarded a dollar-for-dollar Avedis Foundation grant for sidewalk construction,” City Engineer Seth Barkhimer said last month. “That money has not been fully utilized and it actually has a sunset date for June of 2022.”

In order to make use of the remaining funds, he said staff put together a list of high-impact projects that fell in line with the city's Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2019.

RFQs were sent out with five of the top sidewalk projects in mind.

After interviewing five of 13 Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) submissions, Barkhimer brought a request before Shawnee city commissioners to get authorization to start negotiations with CEC, Crafton Tull and Olsson to develop contracts for design services on three areas in particular:

• Independence Street from Kickapoo to Harrison (CEC)

• Highland Street from Harrison to Bryan (Crafton Tull)

• Kickapoo Street from I-40 to MacArthur (Olsson)

“We feel like these first three projects are the highest priority we have,” he said.

He said the reason he was bringing three different projects and three different firms forward at the same time was due to the fairly aggressive timeline the city is facing.

“When you talk about doing the entire design, then construction,” he said. “We didn't want to bog down a single firm with three different projects.”

Independence

CEC's services will include the evaluation and design of sidewalk along Independence street from Kickapoo Street to Harrison Street. The contract amount is $99,736.

Shawnee City Commissioners just OK'd a contract with design firm CEC for a sidewalk project along Independence Street. Services will include the evaluation and design of sidewalk along Independence from Kickapoo to Harrison.

Barkhimer said the new six-foot wide sidewalks will be focused on the north side of the street.

There will be some fencing and retaining walls added, he said.

Highland

Crafton Tull's services include professional design work for the Highland Street Sidewalk Design Project from Harrison Street to Bryan Street. The contract amount is $48,000.

Barkhimer said a 10-foot wide trail on the south side of Highland between Bryan and Harrison will connect to the existing 10-foot wide trail on Bryan.

“This project will extend the existing trail about a mile along Highland,” he said.

Kickapoo

Olsson's services include professional design work for the Kickapoo Street Sidewalk Design Project from Interstate 40 to MacArthur Street. The contract amount is $94,912.

Barkhimer said both sides of the street are in the plan, as well as evaluating portions of existing sidewalks.

“We'll be filling in some gaps,” he said.

According to the agreement, June 14 is Olsson's anticipated bid plan completion date.

The three projects will be funded out of the 302 street-fund, in conjunction with the Avedis foundation matching grant.

Barkhimer said two other sidewalk projects — Highland Street and Farrall/Harrison Street — are hoped to be awarded later on.

Watch for updates.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.