With winter coming, there seems to be no clear plan to pave portions of Waverly Rd., a gravelled-potholed-rutted road that leads from Edgerton’s Intermodal to 56 Highway.
According to Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts, Edgerton has not been in an official meeting with Gardner regarding Waverly Road since Sept. 15, 2017. There is currently no timeline to pave the road.
In the Edgerton City Council meeting of Jan. 2017 Edgerton Council voted to not participate in the project as presented at that time. The reasoning behind that decision was based on safety concerns that were part of a study generated prior to the Logistics Park Kansas City/BNSF Railway Intermodal being negotiated. In that study it showed significant safety concerns at the intersection of 56 Hwy and Waverly. More specifically it called out the interaction of commercial vehicles with high school students heading to and from Gardner Edgerton High School.
In order to study possible construction projects, the City of Gardner hired HDR, INC, an architectural and engineering firm. Their study, completed earlier this year, and shared with the city of Edgerton, said that the cost of improving portions of Waverly Road would range from $6-6.2 million.
Edgerton has not done a study of traffic counts outside of their city limits.
Multiple jurisdictions would have to agree on any road improvement, Roberts said. KDOT (56 Hwy), Johnson County (from 56 Hwy to BNSF Transcon railroad tracks), Gardner (BNSF Trasncon tracks to Waverly Bridge on East side of Waverly), Edgerton (BSNF Transcon  tracks to Waverly Bridge on West side of Waverly). Approximately 600 linear feet (LF) of the West unpaved section of Waverly is in the corporate city limits of Edgerton.
In an August Gardner City Council meeting, Mayor Steve Shute, asked the status of Heartland Family Farm which had required paving to Waverly Rd. At the meeting, Larry Powell stated the original project had gone away and the result of the discussion with Edgerton was the need for a study. He said Edgerton was not happy with the suggestions that had been made and additional information was needed. Rich Melton, Gardner City Councilman, said he wanted a list of Edgerton’s requests.
But according to Roberts, Edgerton has not made a request for a specific study, and until the recent Aug. 23 email there has been no communications of any project on Waverly Road.
What Edgerton has requested, Roberts said, was:
•To be included in any design meetings
• Safety concerns for the 56 Hwy and Waverly Intersection have to addressed
• Road has to be constructed at standard section similar to Edgerton constructed at LPKC adequate for movement of all types of traffic (including items such as curb and gutter, storm sewers, sidewalk etc.)
• An off-grade crossing would have to be funded to alleviate long term safety concerns of road networks in the area (This alignment is anticipated to be at Four Corners Rd)
• Funding of project must be done by entity requesting improvements or that annex property in unincorporated Johnson County between 56 Hwy and BNSF RR tracks
“Edgerton’s primary concern is the safety of high school students traveling along Highway 56 to GEHS, in particular the intersection at Waverly Road and Highway 56,” Roberts said.
“The City of Edgerton, together with our partners, have invested millions of dollars into infrastructure to provide a safe and reliable network of roads designed specifically for the purpose of accommodating and promoting economic development for years to come,” Roberts said. Edgerton has partnerships with NorthPoint Development, BNSF Railway, KDOT and Johnson County in providing high quality roads designed to meet the growing needs in our community.
“With the investment we have had into infrastructure over the last five years Edgerton has become home to the number one industrial development in Kansas City and the number one fastest growing Multi-tenant industrial development in the nation,” said Roberts. The investment of infrastructure has been 100 percent funded from outside sources through the LPKC Public Infrastructure Fund without the use of any general taxpayer dollars from the citizens of Edgerton.