Archive for Thursday, March 2, 2006

Study of 24-40 highway slated to start rolling in a few months

March 2, 2006

An upcoming "aggressive" study of the U.S. Highway 24-40 corridor could be completed by spring 2007, the project manager said this week.

Daryl Fields, a transportation planner with Mid-America Regional Council, said he's hopeful the work can begin this May.

"From the time the consultant is signed, you're looking at (completion) in April or May of '07," he said.

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 Kansas Highway 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 are partnering to pay for the study, which Fields said would cost between $200,000 and $250,000.

Representatives from each of those groups, except for Basehor, met in Leavenworth on Thursday to review the project's scope and recommend changes. Minor tweaks are being made this week to the project's parameters, Fields said.

Requests for bids will be sent out next month to consulting firms interested in conducting the highway study. Firms bidding on the project have 30 days to submit offers.

The department of transportation is slated to pay for nearly two-thirds of the project. MARC will contribute $20,000 and the remaining one-third of the costs will be split between Leavenworth County, Tonganoxie and Basehor, according to the project charter.

MARC will oversee the project and the department of transportation has agreed to provide assistance. The role of county and city officials is to implement changes in zoning and subdivision regulations to comply with the recommendations made in the study.

Officials pledged to involve all jurisdictions with interests in the highway.

Like a similar study coordinated by the department of transportation in 2004 for K-7, the 24-40 study will include a "strong public involvement component" as well as feedback from local officials and the business community.

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