Marion City Council members zeroed in on the issue of downtown one-way streets Monday, preferring to focus on converting Third St. between Main and Santa Fe Sts. to two-way traffic while leaving others as is.
A determining factor appeared to be the trade-off of parking reductions needed to provide sufficient space for two-way traffic on one-way segments of Second and Fourth Sts. north of Main St.
While Third St. is wide enough to accommodate two-way traffic without losing any parking, necessary accommodations for Second and Fourth Sts. would have eliminated 17 slots, according to schematic illustrations provided by engineer Darin Neufeld.
Police Chief Tyler Mermis favored opening Third St. to two-way traffic, saying it would facilitate traffic flow.
Another factor favoring the move was improving accessibility to the city building, Valley United Methodist Church, Historic Elgin Hotel Bed and Breakfast, and the drive-through at Marion National Bank.
Second St. from Main St. to Water St. will remain one-way south, as it carries insufficient traffic to warrant a change.
Mayor Todd Heitschmidt instructed City Administrator Roger Holter to prepare an ordinance pertaining to the change for Third St. for consideration at the next council meeting.
Resurfacing of Main St. from Locust St. east to Eisenhower Dr. took a step forward when council approved Evans, Bierly, Hutchison and Associates of Marion to engineer and oversee the mill and overlay project.
EBH will conduct field design surveys, field check plans, determine the probable cost of the project, develop final plan specifications, assist with the bidding process, and monitor construction. The total approved for all services rendered was not to exceed $56,500. Of that amount, a maxium of $36,000 was allotted for construction monitoring.
In December, Kansas Department of Transportation estimated the total cost of the project to be $310,299. The state KLINK program will pay for 75 percent of the project.
Holter said Tuesday that plans are to put the project out for bids in June. While it is hoped construction could begin within a few weeks of securing a contractor, timing will depend in part how Marion’s project fits with other projects the contractor may have.
Scheduling to minimize or avoid disruption of children walking to and from Marion Elementary School is a priority, Holter said.
In other business:
- Council agreed to advance $25,000 to the airport authority to proceed with installation of a card reader system for fuel purchases at the airport. A grant in that amount awarded for the project will be available in July, at which time the funds will be reimbursed.