Archive for Thursday, March 4, 2004

Talks scheduled to discuss future of Highway 24/40

March 4, 2004

Same debate, different highway.

With two studies indicating signalized intersections are necessary to afford motorist safety, city officials must again decide their preference for moving traffic through Basehor.

This time, however, the conversation won't revolve around Kansas Highway 7 but its neighbor, the U.S. Highway 24/40 corridor.

Next week, Basehor city officials and representatives from the Kansas Department of Transportation will meet to consider options for accommodating traffic and developments along 24/40.

The meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the department of transportation office in Bonner Springs.

Mike Hooper, Basehor city codes administrator, said transportation officials requested a meeting after learning a traffic study completed for Honey Creek Farms indicated a signalized light would be necessary.

Honey Creek Farms is a mixed-use development at the southwest corner of 166th Street and State Avenue. It will contain single and multi-family homes as well as commercial property.

"It's basically to hear what the city wants along (the highway)," Hooper said. "It's a lot what we did with K-7, whether we want a freeway or an expressway. KDOT wants to know what the city wants 24/40 to be through Basehor."

The talks surrounding K-7 Hooper referred to occurred in late 2003 when cities with developments along the highway met the department of transportation to discuss options for the future. Basehor, as well as Bonner Springs, felt the highway should be renovated to include lighted intersections to accommodate commercial and residential developments in their areas.

The department of transportation is currently in the process of studying the best scenario for each city with an interest in K-7.

Honey Creek Farms isn't the only development in Basehor to recommend a signalized intersection. A traffic study of the Pinehurst development, located south of 24/40 across from the Basehor Town Square, also cited the benefits of a signalized intersection at 158th Street and 24/40.

Basehor's portion of 24/40 runs approximately from 142nd Street to 174th Street. There is already one traffic light through the 3 to 4 mile stretch of highway, located at 155th Street and 24/40.

Hooper said city officials haven't yet decided which route would be best for Basehor along the highway but would try to come to a consensus before the Tuesday meeting with the department of transportation.

The department of transportation is the only governing body that can allow signalized intersections along the highway, Hooper said.

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