The time has come for highway work
As traffic on U.S. Highway 24-40 between Tonganoxie and Lawrence continues to increase, state transportation officials should take note.
This busy two-lane highway should become a four-lane road. Or the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Turnpike Authority need to get their heads together and build an interchange along the turnpike that would serve Leavenworth County.
And now is the time to widen 24-40 or build a new interchange or both.
As Leavenworth County continues to be discovered and its population further increases, the traffic problems in the area will intensify. It won't be long before Tonganoxie and southern Leavenworth County will be considered part of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
The costs of constructing highways after development has occurred are high in terms of dollars and consternation to the traveling public.
State transportation officials should take a proactive stance on Leavenworth County's connections to the turnpike.
Even though the state is in financial difficulty and legislators must grapple with an anticipated $426 million budget shortfall, now is the time to lay the groundwork for a new road between Tonganoxie and the Kansas Turnpike.
Planning should begin now so that 10 years from now, residents of Leavenworth County have a safer way to travel west and south.
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