KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Crews have finished new infrastructure to help the Northland grow.

North Woodland Avenue between Northeast 96th Street and Anne Garney Park is now the new two-lane Maplewoods Parkway.

City leaders and park advocates cut the ribbon on this $20 million project Tuesday, which is being paid for through a whole host of federal grants and city bonds.

The upgrade comes as growth accelerates in the Northland.

North Kansas City School District just opened a new wing at nearby Staley High School, and the district expects a need to accommodate 1,500 more students in the next five years.

“The history of this street is one where, frankly, it was an old county road,” said Scott Wagner, a Kansas City parks commissioner. “Two lanes, deep divots on either side. It could not accommodate the population that it already had let alone growth. But we know the growth is coming here. So the investment is really a safety improvement, it’s a quality of life improvement.”

Maplewoods Parkway eventually can be widened to two lanes in each direction if traffic volumes continue to increase.

The project includes a new 6-foot sidewalk and a multi-use trail. There are also new roundabouts at major intersections.

This is part of Kansas City’s effort to develop “complete streets,” thoroughfares that can handle not just vehicle traffic, but also are safe routes for bicycles, walkers and joggers.

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