When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners were briefed on plans for a Thornton Street improvement project.

When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners were briefed on plans for a Thornton Street improvement project.

City officials plan to make improvements to Thornton Street between 10th Avenue and Fifth Street.

In June, commissioners approved a contract with Affinis Corporation, Overland Park, for design work for the road project.

During Tuesday's meeting, commissioners were briefed on the plans for the improvements.

Public Works Director Mike McDonald said the street will receive new pavement as well as new curbs and gutters. And new sidewalks will be constructed on both sides of the street.

McDonald said the street will have 12-foot wide traffic lanes. And the street will be paved with asphalt.

He said bids for the construction should be opened in May. Construction work should begin in June and be completed around October 2020.

The estimated cost of the construction work is $3.9 million.

McDonald said the linchpin of the project is the area where Thornton Street intersects with Fifth Avenue, West Seventh Street and Maple Avenue.

He said sight distance problems will be addressed in this area.

Kristen Leathers with Affinis said Thornton Street will have a center turn lane between Maple Avenue and Fifth Avenue.

Leathers also said West Seventh Street will be turned into a dead-end street instead of intersecting with Thornton Street.

Mayor Mark Preisinger asked if there was any consideration to making the Thornton's intersections with Maple Avenue and Fifth Avenue more aligned to make it "more of a straight shot."

"We looked at a lot of options," McDonald said.

He said aligning the intersections could require expensive land acquisition.

"This is an area where you could possibly put a roundabout," McDonald said.

But Leathers said a roundabout would require alignment of side streets.

"And that again takes up real estate," she said.

She said a roundabout is challenging because of the land acquisition that would be required.

McDonald said parking currently is allowed on Thornton Street between Second Avenue and Fifth Street. But he said plans call for this to be a no parking area in the future.

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