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Dodge City Commission Approves Downtown Streetscape Project

Judd Weil-News Director judd.rmmedia@gmail.com


[FORD COUNTY, Kan.]


A concept of the 2nd Ave and Front Street of the Downtown Streetscape Project. [PHOTO: City of Dodge City]

The Dodge City commission unanimously voted to approve the Downtown Streetscape Project at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Aug. 15.


The monumental decision comes 150-years to the day of the signing of the Dodge City Town Charter.


The $13.9 million multi-phase project aimed to revitalize Dodge City’s historic downtown, is anticipated to start this fall.


The focal point of the project is a western-inspired plaza at Second Ave. and Front Street which will serve as a gathering space. A plaza street with improved traffic control for community events will be created on Second Avenue from Front Street to Gunsmoke Street.


Other improvements include updating utility services, landscaping, lighting, new sidewalks, and reconstructing streets with raised intersections to create safe, slow-speed crossings for pedestrians.


A new walking/bicycle trail from Third Avenue to Central Avenue is another

amenity included in the project.


The engagement, feedback, and support of our community and downtown business owners have been invaluable for the revitalization of our historic downtown,” said City Manager Nick Hernandez. “Strengthening and revitalizing our downtown were two objectives supported strongly by our citizens in our Dodge City 2030, Comprehensive Plan. This project goes a long way towards accomplishing both of those objectives.”


City Manager Nick Hernandez and Assistant City Manager Melissa McCoy recently spoke more in depth about the Downtown Streetscape Project.


Building Solutions, LLC, was selected as the construction manager at risk and prime contractor following a competitive bid process.


The design team for the project was TranSystems and LK Architecture.


“The revitalization of Dodge City's historic downtown is an essential part of the Dodge City STAR Bond project,” said Mayor Kent Smoll. “The 50-year-old streetscape and the 100-plus-year-old brick streets and utilities are well beyond their useful life, and it shows.


“Downtown has been a regional and international draw, and the recent expansion of the Boot Hill Museum has increased the influx of visitors to our community. In its current condition, our historic downtown is hampering economic development and failing to meet the expectations of our visitors and citizens alike.”


The project is funded through STAR Bonds, a Kansas Department of Transportation Cost Share Grant, ARPA funds, and debt issuance by the City of Dodge City.


The Commission is also considering additional improvements to Gunsmoke Street and adding funding for the project for awnings on Front Street which will be determined later as the current project moves forward.


A visual concept as well as a revised funding Powerpoint of the project can be found at dodgecity.org.