Archive for Wednesday, October 31, 2007

KDOT to pony up funds for County Road 1

October 31, 2007

Kansas Department of Transportation officials have officially recognized their share of the rising costs of the County Road 1 improvement project in southern Leavenworth County.

In a meeting with KDOT Secretary Deb Miller and other state officials Friday in Olathe, Leavenworth County commissioners and Public Works staff received a commitment from KDOT for 50 percent of the cost of a tie-in with U.S. Highway 24-40.

"My feeling is KDOT has chips in this too," said Jerry Younger, assistant secretary of transportation. "But we have some concerns too."

Younger said he questioned engineers' original estimate for the tie-in, which came in around $800,000, plus whatever the cost would be to acquire additional right of way.

KDOT officials said they would like to go forward with additional engineering plans to get a better grasp of the entire cost of the project.

Leavenworth County Commission Chairman J.C. Tellefson said costs for the tie-in, which will connect U.S. 24-40 to County Road 1 south of Honey Creek Road, will be significantly less as two drainage culverts included in the original plans will not be needed.

Miller told commissioners she appreciated the county's position regarding County Road 1 and said, "In the end, it will be a better, safer road."

The tie-in will allow a perpendicular intersection with U.S. 24-40.

The work is being done in conjunction with a new interchange on the Kansas Turnpike -- the county's first direct tie-in to the federal interstate system -- at County Road 1.

"We're committed," Commissioner Clyde Graeber said. "We're going to go ahead with this."

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