Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2005

Highway officials to give update on K-7 interchange

February 17, 2005

Kansas Department of Transportation will play host at a public hearing next week to update area residents on the progress of a $43.1 million project to replace the interchange of Kansas Highway 7 and U.S. Highway 24-40.

The public hearing is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Department of Transportation office at 650 N. K-7 in Bonner Springs. Officials from nearby cities will be briefed on the project from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Transportation Department spokesman Joe Blubaugh said the public hearing would address details such as land easements and road right-of-ways that would affect nearby property owners.

"Some things may change, but this is pretty accurate as to how they're going to be impacted," Blubaugh said.

In June 2003, state transportation officials announced they would begin work to replace the interchange, a cloverleaf design built in 1956, with a semi-cloverleaf that was designed to help relieve traffic congestion and make travel easier.

As part of the same project, the Transportation Department is planning to improve and widen U.S. 24-40 to six lanes, three heading in each direction, from North 142nd Street, near the Leavenworth-Wyandotte county line, to North 118th Street.

The project will be let for construction in 2006 and roadwork is slated to begin in the spring of that year. It has a target completion date of early 2007.

State transportation officials said the improvements were designed to meet expected 20-year traffic volumes. A recent traffic study indicates as many as 22,700 vehicles travel near the Kansas Highway 7 interchange per day and as many as 14,000 vehicles travel U.S. 24-40.

Those numbers could balloon to more than 54,000 cars near the K-7 interchange and 43,000 on U.S. 24-40 per day by 2026, the state officials estimate. Given current and expected growth in Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties, the interchange and U.S. 24-40 will not be able to accommodate an increase in traffic volume, they said.

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