Consultant recommends K-7 freeway
Officials from the city of Basehor grudgingly accepted last week's news that a Kansas Department of Transportation consultant determined Kansas Highway 7 should be upgraded to a freeway along the entire corridor.
Officials one town over, in Bonner Springs, weren't so accepting.
"We opposed the idea five years ago and we oppose it now," Bonner Springs mayor Clausie Smith said. "We will make sure our voice is heard amply loud and clear.
"We don't think the freeway concept is a good idea. There has already been too much (development) to make it into a freeway without causing great harm economic development in the area," said Smith, who added that a K-7 freeway would "hurt Basehor, hurt Unified Government and hurt Bonner Springs."
Last week, consultants from HNTB Corp, an Overland Park company contracted to determine a future model for K-7, told state transportation officials and local government representatives that the corridor should be upgraded to a freeway from Mary Street in Lansing to 223rd Street in Olathe.
The recommendation was based on projected traffic counts on K-7 and local streets near its path.
While Bonner Springs officials weren't pleased with the consultant's decision, Basehor city officials said the city could live with the freeway model if state transportation officials would consent to a traffic light at K-7 and Hollingsworth Road. The city hopes to see economic development in that area and a traffic light would make that possible, city administrator David Fuqua said.
"As long as we get the light we want so we can get the commercial we want right there," Fuqua said.