LOUISBURG — The County Commission awarded the construction contract and committed funding for Metcalf 2.0 at its meeting Wednesday, March 30.
The Metcalf Road reconstruction project from South Second to South 16th streets in Louisburg is expected to begin later this spring or summer. The duration of the project is estimated to be five to six months, depending on weather and other variables.
The bidding process was handled through the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) which received three competitive bids, said Project Manager Matt Oehlert with the county’s Road and Bridge Department.
Commissioners awarded the construction contract to apparent lower bidder Miles Excavating for $4,229,588. Oehlert told commissioners construction was budgeted for $4.1 million.
“(In) these economic times and the construction environment we find ourselves in, I was excited to see $4.2 (million),” Oehlert said. “We had budgeted $4.1 (million), so to receive it that close — I was extremely excited to see.”
The overall cost of the project is approximately $5.67 million.
The bulk of the funding for Metcalf 2.0 is being provided by a $3.1 million Mid America Regional Council (MARC) grant. The MARC grant is federal funds, which are being administered through KDOT.
The county and city of Louisburg are sharing the remainder of project expenses above the $3.1 million grant. In addition to construction, the primary associated costs include engineering, inspection and temporary construction easements.
“The contract is between Miami County and KDOT,” Oehlert said. “We’re still required to have 20 percent up front, in hand.”
Twenty percent of the total project cost is $1,133,000, he said.
“There is money available in the quarter-cent sales tax to cover the $1,133,000, in addition to our CE (construction engineering) of $232,000,” Oehlert said.
Finance Director Lucas Mellinger confirmed the money is available in the quarter-cent sales tax fund.
The county and the city plan to each contribute $500,000 of the county’s quarter-cent sales tax money for the project. He said the two entities need to each contribute about $180,000 to cover the remainder of the 20 percent owed up front to KDOT.
Oehlert told county commissioners that Nathan Law, Louisburg’s city administrator, said the city did not have the funds in this year’s budget to cover its $180,000 share.
Not wanting to risk losing the $3.1 million grant, Oehlert said he and Law came up with a solution.
“Louisburg is responsible for half of the $1,133,000,” Oehlert said. “They were originally committed to $500,000. The increase is about $180,000 more than that, to which they would pay $90,000 in 2023 and $90,000 in 2024 in reimbursement to the county.”
Commissioners were agreeable to that solution and voted 5-0 to commit funding for the project.
Law presented the funding proposal to the Louisburg City Council at its Monday, April 4 meeting. The council approved the spending plan with a 5-0 vote.
Some features of the planned street rehabilitation include road widening and resurfacing, curb and gutter upgrades, underground storm water improvements, an integrated bicycle path and sidewalks along the east and west sides of Metcalf Road.
Plans also include a traffic signal and designated turning lanes at the busy intersection of Metcalf Road and South Fifth Street near Broadmoor Elementary, as well as a high visibility pedestrian crossing at Metcalf Road and Thomas Drive where motorists and pedestrians access Ron Weers Park and City Lake
“Matt, I know you’ve put in a lot of work on this project, and I thank you for that,” Commissioner Phil Dixon told Oehlert after the commission’s unanimous endorsement. “That’s the district I live in, and I know there are a lot of people excited about what’s coming.”
Dixon, a Louisburg resident, also thanked Oehlert for obtaining the competitive MARC grant which made the project possible.
“I think it was great to find the funding of over $3 million to go into this project,” Dixon said. “Good job.”
Commission Chair Rob Roberts talked about the importance of government entities being able to work together.
“This has been quite a long process. It’s truly an example of the partnership that is necessary when the cities and county want to make large improvements like this,” Roberts said. “So you have the state government (KDOT), the regional planning organization (MARC), a city government and the county government all partnering for the betterment of their citizens.
“And it’s a complete street project, so a lot of work is going to get done in Louisburg which I think in the long run will be a very positive, positive thing,” he said.