Kansas City seeks millions for Northland interchange upgrade

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- City leaders are seeking $3.5 million from the Missouri Department of Transportation to improve an interchange in the Northland that's likely to see a lot more traffic in the coming years.

Traffic already backs up on weekends at 152-Highway and Platte Purchase Drive as shoppers flock to the Costco store.

The city wants to use sales taxes from Costco, which are part of the Platte Purchase Redevelopment Plan, to improve the interchange for even more cars that are expected to visit the new Northland Sporting Complex and its soccer fields being built to the north.

The $7 million plan calls for possibly adding roundabouts, along with sidewalks, streetlights and an underpass for trail users and pedestrians to cross Platte Purchase Drive.

"We are putting in 12 soccer fields," said Teresa Loar, chair of the transportation, infrastructure and operations committee. "This is for not only recreational play but tournament play. So we will have a traffic jam if we don’t prepare for that, which is what we’re trying to do now. 152 is a state highway, so we are working with MoDOT to make our interchange, off and on that road, to work with that kind of overcrowding we are going to have."

Loar says the Costco store is generating more sales taxes than the city expected. And with a new movie theater going in as part of the tax increment finance district, there will be more funding for infrastructure upgrades to the area.

If MoDOT doesn't share in the costs of improving the interchange, the city would have to pay for the entire project from the TIF district proceeds.

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