Archive for Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Downtown plans coming

April 14, 2004

New details concerning a beautification project in the city's downtown district likely will be announced next month, officials with the Shawnee Downtown Partnership say.

David Morris, president of the partnership, said that the group likely will announce after its May 6 meeting who will paint a mural on the white wall east of the 7-Eleven store at 11023 Johnson Drive.

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"Everybody is excited about it, and I think we'll get some rough sketches soon," he said.

The painting will be a representation of some period in Shawnee history, but the cost of the project and other details haven't yet been announced.

Morris said the artist, who hasn't done any work in the city before, has been selected but not finalized.

Jeff Bahnson, beautification chairman for the partnership, added that the artist is a woman. Bahnson said members of the partnership next month officially will vote to commission the artist and solidify the project.

Partnership officials on Thursday continued discussions regarding the downtown streetscape project, scheduled to begin as early as July but more likely in August.

Costs for the project have been pegged at $825,000 by city officials.

The downtown district generally is delineated by one block north and south of Johnson Drive from Bluejacket to King Street and one block east and west from 57th to 60th on Nieman Road.

"We're working on some signage that can go with some of the new construction," Morris said. "It'll be something to the effect of, 'This project is in cooperation with the Shawnee Downtown Partnership,'"

Downtown leaders and project officials with Landplan Engineering, which is overseeing the streetscape construction, have discussed possible changes to the intersection of Johnson Drive and Nieman Road.

The modifications could involve realignment of Johnson Drive, changes to the width of traffic lanes on the roadway or leaving the intersection as it stands today, said John Chamberlin, spokesman for Landplan.

"We now all have all the data in the door that will impact the decision-making from a physical sense," Chamberlin said.

Traffic counts and preliminary studies of the area have been completed and should give engineers a better idea of what typical daily volumes are at the intersection, Chamberlin said.

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