2020 to be a busy city project construction year in Baldwin City

photo by: Submitted graphic/BG Consultants

The Baldwin City Council has approved this design for a $670,000 downtown park. Construction will start in September, and the park is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 1, 2019.

The year ahead will be one in which the Baldwin City government is occupied overseeing the completion of projects that have been in the pipeline for one to four years.

“We did a lot of planning last year,” said Baldwin City Administrator Glenn Rodden. “Now it’s time to get things completed.”

Two projects planned during 2019 are either underway or slated to start, Rodden said. Work has started on the $650,000 project to convert the empty city-owned lot in the 700 block of High Street know as the Lotatorium into a multiuse park. The work, which includes installation of a stage, restrooms, large community viewing TV and splash deck water feature, should be done this spring.

The other big project approved last year is the new Baldwin City Police Department station to be built at 203 First St. off U.S. Highway 56. Rodden said Loyd Builders, the contractor on the $1.35 million project, is slated to begin demolition of the old restaurant on the site on Monday. The new 5,330-square-foot police station is expected to be finished sometime in July or August.

The city’s biggest project of 2020 predates his arrival as city administrator in 2016, Rodden said. That will be the $2.6 million upgrade of a sewer line serving southeast Baldwin City.

Rodden said he and city public works staff recently met with project design contractor BG Consultants, of Lawrence, on the line’s final design. The project should go out for bids in February or March, he said. The project is being financed with a low-interest loan the city secured through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The project will either replace existing clay sewer line or provide a new lining in the less deteriorated sections of the line, he said. The new line will prevent the rainwater flooding of sewer line that now occurs through pipe infiltration, which reduces the capacity and effectiveness of the city’s wastewater plant, he said.

“It’s really a maintenance project,” he said. “It’s not going to open up any new area for development.”

Another long-planned project slated for 2020 is the realignment of Eisenhower Street. Rodden said the city’s agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation to partner in the project also predates his hiring.

The work will move the southernmost section of Eisenhower Street north of U.S. 56 to the east so that it aligns with Third Street to the south of the highway, Rodden said. The realignment will be similar to the realignment of Sixth Street north of U.S. 56 in 2012, he said. While that work is occurring, the city will add an 8-foot sidewalk from U.S. 56 north to the Baldwin middle school, he said.

KDOT is paying for 80% of the project’s construction, Rodden said. He did not have information readily available on the cost of the project for the city. KDOT is responsible for bidding and scheduling construction, Rodden said.

KDOT is also responsible for scheduling installation of more than five blocks of multiuse trail along the south side of Elm Street from the Eighth Street to the Midland Railway tracks, Rodden said. That project, too, was delayed from 2019 to 2020. KDOT is providing $580,000 for the project’s construction cost with the city providing a 20% match.

Another project delayed from 2019 was the dog park to be built at the Baldwin City Municipal Golf Course. Rodden said city crews started clearing trees and planting grass for the park just south of the multiuse trail at the golf course before they were pulled off that job in the fall to help with other projects.

Because other locations have been suggested, Rodden said he would probably take the dog park’s location back to the City Council for more discussion once the three new members, Julie Constantinescu, Scott Lauridsen and Cory Venable, are seated Tuesday.

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