Archive for Wednesday, February 1, 2012

State offers Basehor more than $1 million for improvements at 24-40 intersections

February 1, 2012

For a second straight year, the state has offered Basehor more than $1 million to help fund improvements along U.S. Highway 24-40.

The Kansas Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced an offer to provide up to nearly $1.1 million in funding for improvements to 155th and 158th streets just north of the highway. The funds would widen the roads between U.S. 24-40 and Wolf Creek Parkway, install center turn lanes and add curb-and-gutter drainage systems.

The proposed projects were two of seven selected from around the state for $4.5 million in funding through KDOT’s Access Management Program. In 2011, Basehor accepted a $1 million grant through the same program to extend Wolf Creek Parkway between 155th and 158th streets, a project planned for this summer.

Jessica Upchurch, an access management engineer for KDOT, said the proposed improvements would keep traffic moving through the highway intersections and prevent backups as drivers use the new frontage road.

“Basically what our goal is, is to promote economic development while maintaining the safety and efficiency of the highway system,” Upchurch said.

The projects would be scheduled for the state’s 2014 fiscal year, meaning construction would begin in summer 2013 at the earliest.

Upchurch said Basehor had received three of the grant offers in a two-year span simply because the city had made the effort to apply for them.

“Basehor has been taking advantage of that opportunity more than some of our other cities and counties have,” Upchurch said.

The Basehor City Council voted in September 2011 to submit four possible projects for funding through the KDOT grant program.

The grants would provide up to $620,000 for improvements to 155th Street and up to $458,000 for work on 158th. KDOT will fund construction up to those amounts, but the city would be responsible for engineering costs, acquisition of rights of way and utility relocation.

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