Archive for Thursday, April 30, 2009

KDOT plans open house on K-7, I-70 interchange

Public meeting to be Tuesday night at Bonner Springs High School

KDOT's plan for the interchange at Interstate 70 and Kansas Highway 7.

KDOT's plan for the interchange at Interstate 70 and Kansas Highway 7.

April 30, 2009

Members of the public will be able to weigh in on preliminary plans for a new interchange at Kansas Highway 7 and Interstate 70 and its related projects.

The Kansas Department of Transportation will have an open house public meeting to discuss the preliminary design plans for the new interchange and the construction of a second left turn lane from Canaan Center Drive onto K-7 in Bonner Springs. The meeting will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, at Bonner Springs High School, 100 McDanield. Short, identical presentations will be given at both 5:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.

Already the plan has come under fire from Bonner Springs City Council members, who are worried the changes will mean the closing of 134th Street and will take up too much land that is developable.

The meeting will allow area residents, businesses and commuters to review detailed project maps, listen to the presentation and provide comments. KDOT staff, along with consultant team members, will be on hand to answer questions and discuss issues and concerns.

The display materials will show KDOT’s progress to-date on the preliminary design of the interchange. This initial design is based on the conceptual improvement alternative that was developed as part of the K-7 Corridor Management Plan.

Both the concept and preliminary design propose to change the current configuration from a single interchange to three new interchanges that are designed to work together as one complete system. New interchanges are being designed for: K-7 at 130th Street, K-7 at I-70, and K-7 at Kansas Avenue. The concept and the preliminary design, KDOT said, respond to the area’s increasing capacity and economic development needs, while improving safety.

A video that shows how drivers will navigate through the ultimate interchange will be shown at the meeting.

KDOT said immediate interchange improvements will involve construction of a second left turn lane onto southbound K-7 from the I-70 exit ramps to improve the existing bottleneck congestion. Construction of the additional turn lane will be completed this year. Displays will include project information on the turn lane construction as well as maps that show the ultimate design of the interchange, which may be constructed in several phases.

The first phase involves the design and construction of the west half of the interchange. KDOT said construction will begin as soon as funding becomes available. The second phase includes construction of the remainder of the interchange (likely in multiple phases), which may not be completed for several decades after the completion of phase one.

For more information, visit the project Web site at k7andi70interchange.org.

If you require a sign-language interpreter or other communication aids at the meeting, please call Kimberly Qualls, KDOT Public Affairs Manager at (785) 296-3881 at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

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