Archive for Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Forum targets property owners near CR1

November 14, 2007

Improvements to County Road 1 associated with construction of a Kansas Turnpike interchange in southwestern Leavenworth County will be the topic of an informational meeting this week in Tonganoxie.

But don't look for it to be a freewheeling forum debating the pros and cons of the project, which stretches 2.5 miles south and 3.5 miles north of Interstate 70 along County Road 1.

Mike Spickelmier, the county's assistant public works director, said the meeting would have a decidedly engineering slant to it.

"We're going to talk about exactly where the road is going to be, and we'll be answering engineering questions," he said.

Spickelmier said he put together the meeting, set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Tonganoxie VFW Hall, 910 E. First St., "mostly so people know how it's going to affect them directly."

Earlier this month, the county sent letters to about 70 property owners who live within a half mile of the project, inviting them to the meeting. In addition to Spickelmier, a representative from the Turnpike Authority and HNTB, the engineering firm designing the project, will present information and respond to audience questions.

The meeting wasn't called to debate the project, however, which is expected to cost about $13 million.

"It's just going to be about the engineering," Spickelmier said. "We don't have the ability to make policy decisions."

Spickelmier said the meeting was a "kickoff" to right of way acquisition associated with the project. Representatives of Right of Way Associates of Lenexa, which is purchasing land on behalf of the county, are expected to begin contacting landowners shortly, Spickelmier said.

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