Highway group continues planning
The U.S. Highway 24-40 corridor study continues to move slowly through its preliminary stages.
"There are hiccups that need to be ironed out," said Chris Dunn, Leavenworth County planning and zoning director.
Representatives from Mid-America Regional Council, Kansas Department of Transportation, Leavenworth County and Tonganoxie and Basehor met Friday in Tonganoxie with planning firm Bucher, Willis and Ratliff officials to discuss the study.
MARC is overseeing the project, but Dunn said he didn't envision MARC having "aggressive, out-in-front leadership."
Other officials said they were pleased with how the project was progressing.
"I think we're comfortable at this point how the project is coming along and where it's going," said Dustin Smith, Basehor city planner. "I don't think there's a problem from the city of Basehor. I think we're still in the very beginning stages."
Tonganoxie City Administrator Mike Yanez agreed.
"Right now we're comfortable with the project and the way Bucher, Willis and Ratliff is doing this on the ground, so we can start running," Yanez said.
Yanez also urged BWR officials to "get in his face" if he was behind in sending pertinent statistics their way.
"I don't have to agree with Mike, but I do," said Tonganoxie Council Member Velda Roberts, whose comment drew loud chuckles in council chambers.
Dunn said he was ready to move ahead with the study.
"What we're looking for is understanding at this point forward," Dunn said.
When complete, the study is expected to provide local governments with recommendations on how to preserve high-speed travel along U.S. Highway 24-40, from Kansas Highway 7 west to County Road 1, south of Tonganoxie. The study also will focus on land one mile north and one mile south of the road.
At Friday's meeting, officials also discussed its proposed citizens advisory committee. About 60 names are on the list, but the committee hopes to narrow that field.
When finished, the study is expected to cost between $200,000 and $250,000. KDOT is expected to pay nearly two-thirds of that money, while MARC will contribute $20,000 and the county, Tonganoxie and Basehor splitting the remaining one-third of costs.