Construction to start on Troost Avenue bus rapid transit service

Construction on the new bus rapid transit service on Troost Avenue will begin next month with an eye toward getting it running next fall.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority today awarded $5.6 million in contracts to start work on the 13-mile bus line between downtown and 95th Street and west to the old Bannister Mall site.

The bus line, funded largely with federal money, will be similar to the MAX rapid bus line that operates in mixed traffic on Main Street between downtown and the Plaza.

The Troost bus will run every 10 minutes north of 75th Street and less frequently south of that location. The MAX bus runs about every 10 minutes during rush hour.

The overall cost of the Troost Avenue project will be about $31 million. The contracts awarded today came in about $400,000 less than what had been budgeted.

Contracts awarded today went for new paving, traffic signal upgrades and improvements to the 31 station areas along the route. The ATA still has to award contracts for improving 11 other station areas and fabrication of the bus shelters and markers that show bus-arrival times.

J.M. Fahey Construction of Grandview won the job for paving while Leath & Sons of Raytown won the contracts for traffic signals and station site improvements.

The ATA was running about two months behind schedule on the project because of the environmental clearances needed for the new Troost Bridge that the city is building over Brush Creek.

Some of the money from the Troost Bridge counts as the local match toward federal funding of the bus project. The money couldn’t count as a match until the bridge was cleared environmentally.

Officials hope to start the Troost service next September or October, but that will depend on how soon the new Troost Bridge is completed.