Archive for Wednesday, August 9, 2000

KDOT announces highway plans

August 9, 2000

Several area road projects have earned funding approval from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

But the transportation department turned thumbs down on a new route for U.S. Highway 24 that would run west of Tonganoxie and connect with Perry. The Leavenworth and Jefferson county commissions had backed the request, which would have required an estimated $197,153,000 to construct.

"The competition for these dollars was intense," said Dean Carlson, secretary of transportation. "The Kansas Department of Transportation received about $5 billion in project requests for this $1 billion pool. These were difficult decisions. Some very good projects were unsuccessful, but the process we used ensures that the 29 selected projects give Kansas taxpayers the most for their money."

The System Enhancement Program is one component of the Comprehensive Transportation Program passed by the 1999 Kansas Legislature that Gov. Bill Graves signed into law in May 1999. The legislation authorized $1.05 billion for System Enhancements. A total of $50 million of the system enhancement funding was earmarked for Wichita's rail grade separation projects. The other $1 billion was for statewide distribution, and earlier this year Kansas cities and counties submitted 139 requests for funding.

These area projects made the cut:

Improvements to U.S. Highway 73 and Kansas Highway 7, along Lansing's Main Street, from Connie Street south for 2.5 miles to south of Gilman Road. The project would widen the highway to five lanes, improve intersections and construct frontage roads. Estimated cost: $18.9 million. The city, which submitted the request, has offered to contribute funds to the project costs.

Reconstruction of U.S. Highway 24-40 from Kansas Highway 7 east to 118th Street to provide five lanes. This request for an estimated $41.6 million was submitted by Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan.

Reconstruction of West Sixth Street in Lawrence from the South Lawrence Trafficway to Wakarusa Drive to include a four-lane divided street. The project, submitted by the city of Lawrence, will cost an estimated $21.3 million.

Several Johnson County projects also earned KDOT's blessing:

At the interchange of Interstate 35/U.S. Highway 69 with 87th Street, a $63.6 million project to improve the interchange, as well as improve 87th Street.

Widen U.S. Highway 69 to six lanes and reconstruction interchanges between 75th and 199th streets. The project cost is estimated at $119.8 million.

Construct a new interchange on Interstate 435 at Antioch Road. Estimated cost: $106.3 million.

These area requests also were denied funding:

Construction of a second two-lane bridge over the Missouri River in Leavenworth on the north side of the existing bridge. Estimated cost: $23,103,000.

A corridor study for a bypass of U.S. Highway 73 and Kansas Highway 7 west of the existing route. Estimated cost: $500,000.

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