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Kansas City marks downtown milestone

City of Kansas City, Mo., officials, members of the contracting community, and civic and community leaders gathered Wednesday to mark a major milestone in downtown's revitalization. The group assembled under the Midland Theatre marquee, which is in the Kansas City Power and Light District's construction site, to sign a 16-inch, ductile iron water main.

This main will complete the area's water network and "open" a new era of opportunity and expansion in downtown Kansas City. It is the last piece of utility pipe to be installed in the district and will be placed in the 1200 block of Main Street this week by Kissick Construction. Black & Veatch, HNTB, Beemer Construction and Pyramid Construction are the other local contracting firms associated with the utility improvements.

"The City's commitment to the basic infrastructure to support this multi-million dollar development has been unprecedented," Mayor Kay Barnes said. "The utility work is vital in order to support our growth downtown as well as to support future developments for years to come. In addition, these major infrastructure improvements have now addressed a significant portion of our deferred maintenance needs in the downtown area."

Utility work for the district started in fall 2004 and is scheduled to be complete by summer. The necessary utility improvements included construction of new sanitary and storm water sewers, and water mains throughout the seven-block area. Sanitary sewer work included installation of new utility pipes, manholes and sanitary sewer service connections for all future developments, as well as reconnections to existing buildings. Storm water work included drainage improvements such as new curb inlets and utility pipe, underground junction boxes, manholes and grate inlets. Water main work included service connections, reconnections and installation of more than 30 new fire hydrants.

All seven blocks in the district were upgraded to the new sanitary and storm water systems and taken off the existing combined sewer system that was previously located in the alleys behind the buildings. The new separated sanitary and storm water systems are now located within the streets. The utility work included the removal of more than 8,000 feet of combined sewer, and the installation of more than 5,000 feet of new sanitary sewer and more than 6,000 feet of new storm sewer.

In 2004, initial utility work began with the removal of existing trolley tracks located in 12th, 13th and Main streets and Grand Boulevard. From there, work moved to Block 125, home of the new H&R Block World Headquarters, and continued west to Block 124, now home to the Hilton President Hotel, and other locations throughout the district. The last of the utility work will take place in the 1200 block of Main Street.

In addition to the necessary utility upgrades, other essential improvements completed by the City included telecommunication work which involved the construction of a system of 16 four-inch conduits in every street throughout the district which would hold telecommunication lines for any future development in the area. This work included extensive coordination with the existing telecommunication providers in the area.

The remainder of the City's work involves continued street reconstruction, which includes installation of concrete pavement, curb work, traffic signals, street lighting, installation of handicap-accessible ramps and signage. Mold and abatement work of the Empire Theatre was substantially complete the first week of May.

City News Releases - 2006

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