Archive for Thursday, April 13, 2006

Council poised to make decisions on two highways

April 13, 2006

Basehor city officials are careful to point out that the development of two highways near the city -- Kansas Highway 7 and U.S. Highway 24-40 -- are critical to long-term economic development.

Those highways or, more accurately, the future of those highways, was the centerpiece of discussion for the Basehor City Council at Monday night's work session.

At their next meeting, Monday, April 17, the council is slated to vote on issues pertaining to the highways.

Daryl Fields, a transportation planner with the Mid America Regional Council, visited with council members Monday night about 24-40.

MARC, which is overseeing a transportation study of 24-40, is asking the city to contribute between $15,000 and $18,000 for the study.

The purpose behind the highway study is to make recommendations to local governments on how to preserve high-speed travel on 24-40 without hindering development.

Under review will be the stretch of highway from K-7 west to the intersection of 24-40 and County Road 1, just south of Tonganoxie.

MARC, Leavenworth County, the Kansas Department of Transportation and the cities of Basehor and Tonganoxie would partner to pay for the study, which is estimated to cost between $200,000 and $250,000.

The city of Basehor, Mayor Chris Garcia said, has not budgeted for its portion of the study. Council members will decide next week whether to set aside funds for their portion.

The city has at least five developments, most of which range from a mix of residential and commercial uses, along the highway.

Transportation officials are seeking a similar foundation of understanding for K-7.

For the last several years, state transportation officials and representatives from municipalities along the K-7 corridor have been studying how best to use the highway that stretches from Leavenworth to Olathe.

Next week the council is slated to vote on whether to sign an agreement stating the city will tailor its future development plans along K-7 with the understanding that the highway be used as a high-speed freeway in coming years.

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