Planners sought for South Main revamp
CAPTION: Randy Gorton (left), project manager for BHCRhodes of Overland Park, Kan., Wednesday explains his firm’s general plans for developing a South Main Street Corridor Study for Marty Shukert (second from left) of RDG Planning & Design, a collaborator in the firm’s planning bid. Also pictured are Maryville Street Superintendent Jay Cacek (center) City Councilman Glenn Jonagan (second from right) and Public Works Director C.E. Goodall. The BHCRhodes presentation is the first of two the city will hear before awarding a planning contract for a series of proposed improvements. JIM FALL/DAILY FORUM
By JIM FALL
The first of two regional engineering firms vying to be selected as the lead planner for Maryville’s long-awaited South Main Street corridor study made its presentation to city officials Wednesday.
BHCRhodes of Overland Park, Kan., sent a three-party contingent to make its presentation to city officials and staff, including City Manager Greg McDanel, Assistant City Manager Ryan Heiland, Public Works Director C.E. Goodall, Street Superintendent Jay Cacek, Mayor Jim Fall and Councilman Glenn Jonagan.
The company’s delegation was headed by Tom Degenhardt, who would serve as principal-in-charge if his firm is selected; Randy Gorton, designated project manager, and Mary Shukert of RDG Design & Planning of Omaha. Shukert played a key role in the development of the city’s overall comprehensive plan done by his firm two years ago.
The second finalist in the running for the anticipated contract, SK Design Group, Overland Park, Kan., will be interviewed at City Hall today. SK Design was the engineer for the city’s major South Munn Avenue reconstruction project last summer and is spearheading the Fourth Street corridor project expected to begin later this year.
The successful bidder is expected to begin work on the planning project within several weeks of contract approval, and the job is anticipated to require most of 2014 to complete.
Gorton said the combined firms have extensive experience in similar projects as far-reaching as Williston, N.D., and Oklahoma City, “really from Wyoming to Wisconsin,” as well as in more closely located communities as Fort Scott, Kan., Coralville and Sioux City, Iowa, and other jobs in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.
“And we have done an extremely similar transportation project in Warrensburg,” he said.
The three BHCRhodes representatives were unified in their assurances that “identifying hot spots and making them more efficient results in the best way for businesses to operate.
“From what we can already see, and from what we know about Maryville, there are some ‘friction points’ — like South Avenue — that provide opportunity for changes,” Degenhardt said.
“Main arterial roads like Main Street have a very important function,” Shukert said. “They should provide a pleasurable experience, not additional stress.”
Degenhardt said one emphasis of the plan will be to “observe, learn and make suggestions.”
“We will also maintain an external focus on long-term development,” Shukert noted. “Transportation preferences are always changing.”
Jonagan said one of his major concerns, and a primary reason for his support of the project, is to improve the aesthetics of South Main.
“It is just an ugly first impression of our community,” he said.