Archive for Thursday, January 22, 2004

Basehor proposes roadway alignment

January 22, 2004

Just how quickly commercial development will occur north of Basehor could hinge on whether Unified Government of Wyandotte County will realign Donohoo Road with Falcon Lakes Parkway.

Last week, representatives from Basehor and Unified Government met to discuss the proposed alignment.

Unified Government has plans to improve Donohoo Road to connect with a planned interchange with Interstate 435. Falcon Lakes Parkway, which sits just north of Donohoo Road, is the primary access road into the Falcon Lakes residential area, golf course and restaurants; 80 acres of land east of Falcon Lakes is also slated for commercial development.

Aligning Falcon Lakes Parkway and Donohoo Road would benefit both the city and Wyandotte County, city officials contend.

The city's goal for realigning Falcon Lakes and Donohoo is to have a traffic signal placed at the intersection, which would funnel traffic into commercial developments on both sides of K-7 -- Wyandotte County to the east, Leavenworth County to the west -- and serve as an access road for motorists connecting with I-435.

Whether the proposal will reach any further than the drawing board remains to be seen.

Mike Hooper, Basehor city codes administrator, said Wyandotte County is non-committal on the proposal at this point but the two sides agreed to talk more in coming weeks.

"Right now, I don't know if there is a lot of support on their side," Hooper said.

Officials from the Kansas Department of Transportation have discussed the project and agreed to support the idea if Basehor and Unified Government can come to an understanding.

The downside to the deal for Wyandotte County is a higher cost for their interchange project. However, under the city's proposal, funds from other K-7 projects could be used to align Falcon Lakes Parkway and Donohoo Road thereby alleviating some of Wyandotte County's increased costs, city officials contend.

The department of transportation has plans in place to fund intersection improvements at Hollingsworth Road and K-7. The improvements entail adding acceleration and deceleration lanes; the improvements would be scratched if the alignment project is agreed upon.

If a deal is agreed upon and Falcon Lakes Parkway and Donohoo Road becomes a true intersection, the department of transportation would lift restrictions at Falcon Lakes Parkway. After barricading the road for nearly two years, transportation officials allowed the roadway to be reopened but with a right-in, right-out only restriction.

Allowing a full intersection at Falcon Lakes Parkway would satisfy one of the demands of Shawnee developer Tom Zarda, who has plans to develop an 80-acre parcel just east of the Falcon Lakes development.

In past meetings, Zarda has said he would not develop the land without full access to Falcon Lakes Parkway. It's a position he maintains today, city officials said.

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