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LENEXA, Kan. — A popular trail will undergo a major overhaul.

Currently, walkers and cyclists face four flights of stairs and then four lanes of traffic at 87th Street if they want to access Little Mill Creek Trail. That will soon change.

The city approved a plan to remove the steps and add a tunnel under the street. It will extend Little Mill Creek Trail into Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park. Lenexa received a $1.1 million grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation to help fund this project.

Work is expected to begin the first week of August.

When crews break ground on the project, 87th Street Parkway will close near the entrance to Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park. The busy street is expected to be completely closed for about ten days. Drivers will also experience lane closures before and after 87th street reopens.

During the closure, traffic will detour from Lackman Road to 79th Street or 95th Street and then on to Pflumm Road.

Sidewalks in that location will also be closed during the project.

The city is providing an incentive for the work to be completed on time. It will pay a bonus for every day the road is open before the 10-day deadline. The contractor will be fined daily if the work isn’t completed by the deadline.

The project is expected to go a little quicker than many might expect because crews will use a pre-cast pedestrian tunnel instead of trying to build one.

The tunnel will include round-the-clock lighting, security cameras, and an emergency call box.

The tunnel is expected to open early this fall.

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