A busy intersection in Olathe, Kansas was already at capacity, but with a new gas station being built, the need for geometric improvements became a major priority.
The intersection of Santa Fe St. and Ridgeview Rd. was not equipped to manage the existing traffic or the expected increased traffic volume that a new QuikTrip gas station would bring. There were not enough turn lanes, and the length of the existing turn lanes were too short to sustain the amount of traffic expected.
The City of Olathe hired GBA to provide design services for the geometric improvements of the intersection. The plan was to add turn lanes, bike lanes and sidewalk connectivity. It was timely that the bank that sat on the southwest corner of the intersection was up for sale. The City of Olathe quickly bought the bank property with the intent to increase the number of turn lanes even more than what was originally planned.
Other aspects of the work included signal, lighting, signing and pavement marking improvements, median modifications, entrance adjustments and storm sewer design. GBA was responsible for survey, cost estimates and acquisition documentation of the right of way.
In addition to the geometric improvements at the intersection, the City of Olathe also selected GBA to design the adjoining mill and overlay of Santa Fe St. from the Santa Fe and Ridgeview intersection west to Kansas City Rd. This was ultimately combined into one construction project.
The team had plenty of challenges during construction. Utility coordination was a critical project component, which included the relocation of an electric transmission line. The foundations of the poles for the line were eight feet in diameter and up to 40 feet deep!
Due to the construction, traffic in and out of the businesses located at the intersection became a challenge. Originally, the intent was to keep one lane of traffic open in all directions throughout construction. The GBA team proposed to shut down the east/west legs of Santa Fe to complete construction as efficiently as possible given all the challenges. Once those legs were complete, the north/south lanes of Ridgeview Rd would close. The City of Olathe opted to follow the recommendation. In the end, each street was closed for roughly 16 weeks.
Construction was completed in the fall of 2020.
For additional details on this project, visit https://www.olatheks.org/government/public-works/construction-projects/santa-fe-and-ridgeview-geometric-improvement-project.