U.S. 24-40 corridor plan change proposed
The Tonganoxie City Council continued Monday to press on several fronts for safety improvements to U.S. Highway 24-40 intersections on the city’s east side.
Last month, the council agreed not to apply for a Corridor Management Grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation that would have provided up to $2 million for safety improvements to U.S. 24-40 intersections at Laming Road and Stone Creek/South Park drives. The council passed on the grant because of the $280,000 it was estimated the city would have to pay for engineering, utility relocation and right-of-way acquisition had the grant been approved and out of concern the proposed intersection improvements would hurt businesses in the commercial strip off Stone Creek Drive.
The proposed safety improvements were based on a corridor management plan the city and KDOT adopted, which calls for the construction of a median to eliminate cross-traffic maneuvers at Stone Creek/South Park drives.
On Monday, Councilman Bill Peak proposed the city support modifying the U.S. 24-40 corridor management plan to include a three-way access or three-quarter intersection at the Stone Creek/South Park drives. The intersection at Ridge Drive and U.S. 24-40 near B&J Country Mart is of such a design.
City Administrator Mike Yanez said he would take that request to a meeting next month of the Corridor Management Committee as the first step in the process of modifying the plan. The city, Leavenworth County and KDOT would have to approve the change.
When it opted not to apply for the grant, the council agreed to lobby KDOT to lower the 65 mph speed limit east of Stone Creek/South Park drives. On Monday, the council restated its desire to have a representative from KDOT come to a future meeting about that request but only after the city develops a plan of why and where the speed limit should be reduced.
As he did in the previous meeting, Mayor Jason Ward said he would instruct Fire Chief Dave Bennett and Police Chief Jeff Brandau to develop a plan for the speed limit reduction and its justification.
Councilman Bill Bixby said U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran staff members had talked to KDOT about lowering the speed limit and that the department was willing to talk to the city.
In other action, the council:
• Approved City Clerk Kathy Bard’s suggestion that 2012 pool discount tickets and season passes at 2011 prices be for sale as Christmas stocking stuffers.
• Approved a new mutual aid agreement between Fort Leavenworth and the Tonganoxie Fire Department. Bennett said the city was never called to the fort in the 10 years the existing agreement had been in place.
• Agreed to accept a donation from the three sons of Harry and Margaret Gallagher of the family home property at 301 S. Main St. In so doing, the city agreed to the brothers' stipulations that the property just south of the city pool be used as a municipal park, that only recreational structures can be built on the property and that total parking be limited to 20 percent of the eastern section of the property.