July 6, 2019

Mallory Herrmann

The city of Lee’s Summit is considering what it would take to annex certain roads adjacent to city limits – and whether the costs incurred would be worth it.

The city council has recently discussed the traffic impacts of developments proposed for the outer edges of the city. Of particular concern for nearby residents from both Lee’s Summit and Kansas City is the condition of roads like Lee’s Summit Road and whether they can withstand added traffic.

The council asked city staff to bring more information to the public works committee to explore possible options to address those concerns when the city does not have jurisdiction over the roads for maintenance, repairs or upgrades.

As Councilmember Craig Faith, the committee’s chair, said, the council hates to tell citizens, “Sorry that’s Kansas City’s problem,” instead of offering a solution.

But that solution could be very complicated – and very expensive.

Dena Mezger, director of public works, said at the committee’s June 25 meeting staff has identified 16 roads that are outside of (or have portions outside of) Lee’s Summit but are heavily trafficked by residents, including Lee’s Summit Road, View High Drive, Pryor Road, Ranson Road and Langsford Road. City staff determined that 11 of those roads need reconstruction, with the other five requiring only an overlay.

The acceptance cost for these 16 sections would total nearly $40 million, with annual maintenance costs adding about $556,000 to the city’s public works budget.

Also under consideration are sections of Missouri Highway 291, Missouri Highway 50 and their associated outer roads and intersections – currently maintained by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). Mezger noted that the city receives many calls for repairs in areas like Oldham Parkway, which is under MoDOT’s jurisdiction. Those roads have a projected acceptance cost of close to $54 million and annual maintenance costs of more than $800,000.

Councilmember Rob Binney asked why the council would seek to burden the city with these costs, but said that he did see an opportunity for creating strategic partnerships with MoDOT and nearby municipalities.

Mezger noted that no one from the city has yet approached other cities about these roads. City staff would be open to having these conversations, with direction from the council, to determine what maintenance or reconstruction projects are already planned and how to best cooperate with other agencies to keep up the roads.