Archive for Monday, December 22, 2014

Wayfarer signs to point visitors to Baldwin City destinations

Baldwin City government

Baldwin City government

December 22, 2014

Visitors soon will be better able to find and make their way around Baldwin City thanks to strategically placed wayfarer signs.

At its Dec. 15 meeting, the Baldwin City Council approved a $14,221 contract with Mike Langrehr of Design Specialties to craft 20 wayfarer signs. New signs will replaced those in Vinland and Le Loup directing visitors to Baldwin City and others will be install on highways and streets in the city.

The city’s involvement in the project came after other groups, including the Baldwin City Tourism Bureau, Baker University and USD 348, worked to establish where the signs should be placed and what they should say. Baldwin City community development director Collin Bielser said the city helped with final details, such as ensuring the sign system conformed to state and federal laws, gaining the Kansas Department of Transportation's blessing to place some of the signs on U.S. 56 and seeking bids for the signs.

In a memo to the council, Bielser wrote the city sought requests from three local companies about the sign’s fabrication and met with two those companies. Following his meeting with city staff, Langrehr submitted a bid for the signs.

Larger signs with an arrow above a stacked group of specific locations, such as Baker University, City Hall and downtown, will be placed on major routes or city gateways. Smaller signs will provide further directional information along the route.

Langrehr said the signs are to be painted with a highly reflective material, which did increase their cost. He was still working with the city on the final details before starting to make the signs. The signs should be finished in about a month, he said.

The council took a procedural step at the Dec. 15 meeting in the ongoing effort to update one of the locations to be identified with a new sign with the signing of an agreement with KDOT. The agreement formally authorizes improvements at the historic Santa Fe Depot, 1515 High St., with a federal transportation enhancement grant awarded earlier this year. The upgrades will include extending the brick boarding platform, installing a canopy and decorative lighting fixtures to the platform, adding three handicap parking spaces and planting native grasses. The project will cost $217,000 but with the grant, the city and its partners only are responsible for $72,000.

Bielser said engineering for the project was slotted for 2015 and the work will be completed in 2016.

An adjoining grant-assisted project, installation of a mixed-use trail from the depot’s park to West Park at High and 11th streets, will be completed in 2015. Trees have been cleared along the north end of the Baldwin City Municipal Golf Course for the new mixed-use path. Two blocks of new trail will also be installed along Miami Street and Orchard Lane.

The city received a $55,000 grant from Sunflower Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to improving the health of Kansans. The grant required an equal city match.

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