Water main improvements start flowing this month

Over the next year, KC Water is planning to replace some deteriorating water mains that impact our neighborhood, including a transmission main along 75th Street from State Line Road to Troost Avenue and a section of 73rd Street near State Line Road. There will also be work along 73rd Street from State Line Road to Terrace Street.

The water mains will be replaced with pipes that have a larger diameter and are more durable. These infrastructure improvements will ultimately reduce service interruptions due to breaks, reduce costs, and increase capacity and fire protection.

Construction on the project will start later this month, weather permitting, and should last 12 months overall. First up is 75th Street near Wornall Road, which will be under construction through October.

Join the Waldo Area Improvements Facebook group to get the latest project updates.

Presentation from Aug. 8, 2019, public meeting (PDF)

Major infrastructure upgrades coming to Waldo

Over the next few years, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, will invest more than $45 million to upgrade basic infrastructure in the Waldo neighborhood. This includes a total reconstruction of Wornall Road from 74th to 79th Streets. Expect a major reconfiguration at the intersection of 75th Street and Wornall Road to improve traffic flow, as well as safety and accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Spire Energy is currently installing a new gas line along Wornall Road. The city will also do water main replacement and sewer separation work. Construction of the roadway improvements is anticipated to start in early 2019 and finish in the fall of 2020.

Learn more about the plans and construction timeline:

Wornall Road Improvements

75th Street and Wornall Road Improvements

Brush Creek basin sewer rehab project to begin soon

More construction work is planned to rehabilitate aging sewers in our area. It’s part of federal requirements Kansas City must meet to improve water quality by reducing the frequency and volume of sewer overflows.

The Inflow and Infiltration Reduction: Brush Creak Area 2 project will restore sewer mains, service lateral connections and manholes. This will result in more reliable service, and less frequent sewer overflows and basement backups.

The southern end of the project area includes approximately part of the Ward Parkway Homes Association, from Gregory Boulevard to 74th Street and State Line Road to Pennsylvania Avenue. Affected residents were sent postcards and invited to a public meeting on March 8 to learn about the plans.

Construction is expected to start soon and will be completed by September 2019. Though the project will not reach our neighborhood for a while, it is important to know what will happen when it does arrive. Some WPHA residents have backyard sewer lines that could be impacted, and our understanding is that those residents will be contacted directly.

To get a better understanding of whether or how your property may be affected by the sewer work, we recommend that you talk with the project team before construction moves into our area. Contact Project Manager Rachelle Lowe at 816-822-4276.

Kansas City’s Smart Sewer Program

75th and Wornall intersection to get trail connection and safety improvements

Waldo is going to get a major upgrade to the intersection of 75th Street and Wornall Road. This City of Kansas City, Missouri, project includes connecting the Trolley Trail from 74th Street to 75th Street, as well as other upgrades and safety improvements:

  • New sidewalks along Wornall from 75th Street to 79th Street
  • Traffic-calming changes along 75th Street from Washington Street to Wyandotte Street
  • Traffic-signal and pedestrian-crossing improvements
  • Improved access to park-and-ride facility on Wornall
  • Improved parking access and parking lot improvements on east side of Wornall
  • Addition of trees and shrubbery in green spaces along 75th and Wornall

A $2 million federal grant will fund the project, along with $815,000 in city capital improvement dollars. The Waldo Community Improvement District and  Waldo Area Business Association committed $10,000 in local matching funds.

The design phase is about to get underway, with construction projected to start in the summer of 2018.

75th Street and Wornall Road area to get nearly $3 million in improvements
The Kansas City Star (Feb. 12, 2017)

Waldo to get Trolley Trail connector
Fox 4 News (Feb. 10, 2017)

Street resurfacing underway

The City of Kansas City, Mo. is milling and resurfacing several streets in the Ward Parkway Homes Association neighborhood from Sept. 1-10, 2015. Many residents have received door hangers instructing you not to park on the street (or else cars may be towed). You may also see “Emergency No Parking” signs temporarily erected in the area.

Botwin presentation addresses concerns on transition housing

By the WPHA staff

A detailed explanation of a federally funded project to house single young adults who have aged out of foster care seemed to ease concerns and promote acceptance for a 14-unit apartment building at 7540 Washington street.

Diane Botwin, a long-time local developer, has teamed up with several agencies to bring the $2.2 million project to Waldo. But an initial lack of information about the project caused an uproar of protest, prompting Botwin’s appearance at the Waldo Tower Homes Association neighborhood meeting on March 14 at the Waldo Library.

Most area residents were not aware of the project until January, when they saw a sign at the site announcing the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for apartments owned by reStart Housing Services, Inc.
A vocal minority complained to local print and broadcast media that the project would hurt property values, prompt residents to move and change the character of the Waldo neighborhood.

Even some supporting the project were disappointed by a lack of transparency. Botwin apologized for any confusion, though it was claimed that the project was not certain to move forward until HUD funding was assured in November.
The project is in response to the predicament in which those between the ages of 18 and 24 find themselves once they leave their foster homes.

More than 800 young adults aged out of foster care in Jackson County in 2013, the last year for which statistics are available. Nationally, it is projected that one in five in that category will become homeless after age 18. Only 58 percent graduate from high school by age 19. Within two years of being aged out, one in four is involved in the criminal justice system. By age 24, half is unemployed.

Clearly, the 14 units in Waldo, which will be ready in the fall, will only meet the critical needs for a small segment of this at-risk population. Residents will be professionally screened, have a case manager and social services support network, and be required to be in school, working, seeking employment or volunteering in the community.

Under HUD regulations, residents will pay no more in rent than 30 percent of their income or college Pell grants.

Discussions for this project began in 2009 and Waldo emerged as the most practical location. Botwin owned the property and is a long-time volunteer for reStart, a Kansas City interfaith ministry to the homeless. When she learned that HUD had funding for transitional housing, she worked with reStart to begin the project, She now serves as its community liaison.

The Washington location offers easy access to major bus lines, food and drug stores and the Waldo library branch. State Representative Jeremy LaFaver and City Councilman John Sharp, whose districts include Waldo, both voiced support for the project. Sharp pointed out that no public hearings were required by the city because no rezoning was needed.

Project representatives took questions from a largely supportive audience, which raised the main issues that have swirled around the apartments.

The biggest issue involved crime prevention with at-risk young adults. One partner, ReDiscover, is a community mental health agency that helps those affected by serious mental illness and substance abuse.

Jean Schweer of ReDiscover said the agency has been involved with supportive housing for 10 years with few crime issues. It also was noted that a staff member will live in one unit and be on site 24 hours a day. Project managers will be charged with checking that all residents are involved in work or school.

Tobacco and alcohol will not be allowed. Visitors must sign in and cannot stay. Security measures will include cameras and key-fob access.

A website is being set up to allow public contact will those overseeing the project, including the resident manager. It also will include information about starting a mentorship program.

Waldo Tower Homes Association secretary Elizabeth Hollins contributed to this story