A vote eight years or more in the making, Trail Street will get the work its role in the city deserves.

The next phase making the Trail Street surface into the major thoroughfare it has become will start as soon as late March following approval by the City Commission Monday.

Construction on the road from Second Avenue to Fourteenth Avenue will be done half a block at a time to minimize the inconvenience to residents, city engineer Ray Slattery said. As part of the contract, access to the grain elevators should not be impeded during summer and fall harvests.

The winning bid from Smoky Hill of Salina came in almost 16 percent lower than the engineer's estimate, about $600,000 on a project originally estimated to cost $3.8 million. The Commission approved a secondary bid to move the uprooted bricks to the side of the road in front of the sidewalks.

This will look better and cost less to maintain, Slattery said.

The project will also replace the water lines under the street. As a condition of the project, the city did not want to have to purchase additional right-of-way.

The road is expected to be completed by July 1, 2015, after an allowed winter construction shutdown from November through March.

Commissioner Rick Sowers celebrated the start of the project, say it had been an issue on the horizon since he took office eight years earlier.

The city received a second bid from APAC Kansas for roughly $3.7 million.

Additionally, during the regular Commission meeting:

Jan Scoggins was appointed to the Airport Advisory Board. Scoggins, a candidate for City Commission, would like to see the airport become a better gateway into the city.Mayor Kent Smoll asked the city staff to add items related to the long-delayed Joint Commission meeting to the city's next agenda."We need to get this stuff done, people are waiting on this," Smoll said. "We're almost to the point of not being able to get a water park done by 2015."

Smoll wants the city to have ready its portion of funding votes, including the organizational fund budget and said the County Commission could do the same.

County Chairman Chris Boys said the holdup has over changes to the Interlocal Agreement, the document that governs how "Why Not Dodge?" special sales tax funds are spent.