Plans proceed on intersection upgrade
It's so far, so good on the planned improvements at and around the U.S. Highway 24-40 and Kansas Highway 7 interchange.
The $30 million road construction project is expected to begin in spring 2006, with completion in early 2007, said Joe Blubaugh, public involvement liaison for Kansas Department of Transportation. Like other state departments, KDOT is keeping a close eye on the state's tight financial situation.
"As of right now the secretary (of KDOT) has said that as long as there's not more budget cutting come next year that we will be able to meet all the promises that we made in the transportation comprehensive plan," Blubaugh said. "As of right now everything's great. If there's any more budget cuts, all bets are off, but at this point nobody has identified any project that would be cut first, second or so on down the line."
Part of the project includes widening 2.2 miles of U.S. 24-40 from 118th Street west to the Leavenworth County line, Blubaugh said. This would create extra turning lanes and could accommodate future traffic increases.
"They want to be able to increase that to six lanes if that becomes a necessity later on," Blubaugh said.
Recent traffic counts showed that between 8,000 and 14,000 vehicles travel on the two-mile stretch of U.S. 24-40 each day. And in the same area, an estimated 18,500 to 22,700 vehicles travel on K-7 each day.
Reconstruction of the interchange at K-7 and U.S. 24-40 will help move traffic along, Blubaugh said.
"It's going to be a cloverleaf design, but it's really lengthened out the interchange to allow for a higher rate of travel on there to accommodate more traffic," Blubaugh said.