Olsson Associates


Pulling out all the stops for an award-winning transit project

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Suzanne Small, Marketing

Municipal and key agency partnerships were the award-winning recipe ingredients for the Olsson team winning a prestigious Kansas City Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) award.

The APWA selected the recently completed Metcalf Avenue/Shawnee Mission Parkway Bus Corridor project as Project of the Year - Transportation category for projects $5 to $25 million. Olsson Associates led the design team on this project that was finalized in December 2013.

In 2010, the City of Overland Park, Kansas, on behalf of Johnson County Transit, decided to select a consultant to design transit-related improvements over a wide-reaching corridor that included multiple cities and jurisdictions. This project had a single goal of providing enhanced transit facilities along the Metcalf and Shawnee Mission Parkway Corridors. The improvements stretched as far south as 119th Street and north to 75th Street and then extended through the cities of Roeland Park and Mission, Kansas.

The final product includes the following amenities:

  • 20 enhanced transit stops
  • Three park-and-ride facilities
  • The E. Allen Roth Mission Transit Center
  • Implementation of Transit Signal Priority at key intersections
  • Several miles of multi-use trail designs in Overland Park and Mission
  • Various sidewalk enhancements
  • Landscape improvements along the corridor
  • New service branding

The project became feasible because of the partnership between a wide group of municipalities and agencies. This partnership was able to secure a significant portion of an overall $50 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant to undertake the improvements. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) provided $10.7 million for the overall project through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

Allen Roth Mission Transit Center

On July 1, 2013, the DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) celebrated the opening of the new Transit Center located at 5251 Johnson Drive in Mission, Kansas. The new transit center will significantly enhance transit service in Johnson County and connect thousands of daily riders to jobs and other destinations in the Kansas City region. The project included demolishing an existing bank facility, re-routing utility infrastructure, making storm drainage and sanitary improvements, and completing sidewalk enhancements. The facility can accommodate up to six simultaneous bus transfers at one time. The riders can take shelter under the covered canopies and wind screens, and the bus operators can use a rest facility located on the site.

Enhanced Transit Stations

Transit station prototypes for 10 station pairs were designed to be constructed in the Metcalf Avenue and Shawnee Mission Parkway corridor. The design team held multiple design charrettes before settling on the final design. The unique design features are one a kind for transit facilities in their shapes and appearances. Each facility is completed with high-quality finishes; enhanced lighting; unique branding to distinguish enhanced service from local service; and real-time, next-bus arrival information.

Rosana Square Park-and-Ride

A park-and-ride facility at Rosana Square is located west of 119th Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, Kansas. The project included making pavement improvements at the facility, improving sidewalks, designing a shelter, installing real-time information kiosks, and designing aesthetics related to an enhanced park-and-ride facility. The previous, existing park-and-ride area lacked any passenger amenities, route or schedule information, or significant signage to indicate the location was a Johnson County Transit (JCT) park-and-ride. Additional investments in the park-and-ride lot included adding monument signage, improving the entrance geometry, making parking lot improvements, and installing ADA-accessible parking stalls.

Multi-Use Trail

Several miles of trail extensions were completed as part of the project along the Metcalf corridor. The trail extensions included multiple stormwater improvements, extensive retaining wall configurations, and in-depth interaction with the local business owners. In addition to the trail extensions, several sidewalk connections were made to complete the pedestrian connectivity with the transit facilities along the corridor.

Partnership Members

In addition to the design team and contractors, the partnership included the following agencies:

  • Johnson County Transit
  • Mission, Kansas
  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Roeland Park, Kansas
  • Mid-America Regional Council
  • DOT
  • Federal Transit Authority

Olsson led the design team, which also included Bowman Bowman Novick, Inc.; EAT Advertising and Design, Inc.; Shockey Consulting, LLC; and PB Americas, Inc. The main contractors were APAC-Kansas, Inc.; Mega Industries Corporation; and Leath and Sons, Inc. All of the contractors had numerous subcontractors and suppliers that also added significant value to the project.

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