Olsson Associates


New bridge builds hope for businesses in Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Linda Van Hoosen, Communications

Over ten years ago, a group of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, city leaders identified that the extension of Tudor Road, was critical to the city’s infrastructure system. Tudor Road was included in the city’s Thoroughfare Master Plan as a project that would support future economic development.

In 2011, the Tudor Road improvements project began, and Olsson Associates was hired as the engineer of record, handling everything from survey and design to construction administration. The project called for a divided four-lane road with street lights, sidewalk, and a bridge over Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The city was eager to see the project move forward and show voters what they were paying for, so the project was broken into two phases.

“We knew the railroad permitting and utility coordination were the critical path for the overall project,” said Jamie Fain, project manager. “So, working with the city, we decided a two-phased approach was our best option. While phase one was being completed in 2013, we started plans for phase two, working through the necessary approvals with the railroad.”

Phase one consisted of a quarter of a mile of enhancements, a road extension, a new intersection, and new entrances into a courthouse and police facilities. Phase two focused on the railroad bridge and creek crossing and the permitting process for both. Olsson provided many services from the beginning to the end of the project that included work from our survey, geotechnical, special inspections, bridge, roadway, traffic, water resources, and rail teams. Olsson also assisted with the public involvement effort and coordinated with all the utilities in the area, which was one of the more challenging aspects of the project. 

 “There’s a large utility substation for Kansas City Power and Light directly adjacent to the Southwest corner of the bridge, so several
power lines needed to be relocated,” said Jamie. “We had to coordinate with the utility company to get those relocated or replaced to provide clearance over the bridge and roadway. Coordination of these relocations was a key factor of success for the construction period.”

The new bridge features concrete form liner on the sides of the barrier, and stamped colored concrete in the median for a more pleasing appearance. To minimize impacts to the Kansas City Power and Light substation and adjacent property, large retaining walls were designed with matching decorative concrete and railings.

Lee’s Summit voters overwhelmingly passed a no-tax increase bond to pay for the project in hopes of sparking economic development to the area. And, as it turns out, they were right.

“There was an ‘if you build it, they will come’ type of attitude,” said Jamie. “While we were working on the project, quite a bit of development started happening north and south of the roadway just west of the bridge almost immediately. Some of the buildings were nearly complete before the roadway was open.”

The project is now complete. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at Tudor Road Bridge last month.

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