Moving Merriam Forward
Published on August 31, 2022
Many changes are coming across Merriam as the City moves forward on several construction projects over the next several years.
You’ll soon see improvements along Merriam Drive and at the old Kmart site. Design work is starting on the Upper Turkey Creek Project to reduce flood risk in downtown Merriam.
All of these projects support major goals of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The Comp Plan was completed in early 2021 with input from residents, business owners, and local officials. It’s used to guide growth and development for Merriam through the year 2040.
Learn more about all these major projects happening in our Just Right city.
The City received two grants from the Mid-America Regional Council in early 2021 to study bike, pedestrian, and vehicle travel on Merriam Drive from Johnson Drive through east city limits.
After feedback from residents, business owners, and community leaders, concept plans for a new street design include:
- Changing the road from two, three, and four lanes to three lanes throughout.
- Diagonal parking spaces for better access to Merriam Marketplace and local businesses.
- A shared-use path for bicyclists.
- Raised crosswalks with removable bollards.
- A gateway monument into downtown Merriam.
Another possible addition includes a new Merriam Marketplace entrance to make room for a pedestrian walkway. Merriam City Councilmembers viewed the final design in April. The final draft for the plan is near completion and construction is scheduled to start in 2023.
The first steps are underway in reducing flood risk in downtown Merriam.
In March, Congress approved $500,000 for the Upper Turkey Creek Flood Risk Reduction Project. Another $23.9 million in funding was added to the Infrastructure Bill to aid the project.
With this money now allocated for Turkey Creek, City staff in June signed a design agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The agreement starts the design phase of the Upper Turkey Creek Project, including preconstruction and engineering design.
Over the next three to four years, the Army Corps will determine how to best construct flood walls and levees along two miles of Turkey Creek, from Shawnee Mission Parkway to Merriam Drive.
This is the first time since 2015 – when a feasibility plan was approved – that the Army Corps has looked at Turkey Creek. We'll work closely with our partners at Johnson County and the Army Corps on the next steps and keep you informed of project happenings.
The old Kmart site will be abandoned no more. Drake Development recently submitted plans for a $133 million project called Merriam Grand Station.
In July, Merriam City Councilmembers approved a redevelopment agreement that includes two apartment complexes, space for to up five restaurants or retail businesses, and green space for live music and yard games. There will also be a parking structure on the south end of the property.
In order to make the project possible, the City and Drake Development have entered into a public/private partnership to assist in funding the project.
Crews will demolish the Kmart building by the end of 2022, with the construction of Merriam Grand Station set to start in 2023. The new construction won’t impact Freddy’s or Krispy Kreme. The entire project is expected to open by the end of 2026.
Another project to watch out for in the next year or so will be upgrades to 5701 Merriam Drive (site of the former community center). Find more information about these projects and view the Comp Plan 2040 at merriam.org/movingmerriamforward.