An application for $5.5 million in federal funding to build a South Lawrence Trafficway interchange is a long shot, says Douglas County Commissioner Mark Buhler.
During their meeting this morning, commissioners endorsed a county proposal to seek funding through U.S. Sen. Bob Dole's office for an interchange at 15th Street. The Lawrence City Commission approved the application last week.
``There is an outside chance, although there is a chance, that demonstration money will get some attention in the upcoming (federal) budget,'' Buhler said.
``In the event there is demonstration money available, we're told that small projects -- and $5 million is small to them -- might fare pretty well,'' he said.
County Engineer Frank Hempen said the application's chances also improve because the county isn't starting from scratch. County officials expected to build the interchange eventually and had preliminary drawings prepared when the western leg of the trafficway was designed.
``Most of the right of way for this interchange already has been acquired and that helps us somewhat,'' Hempen said. ``It shows that planning already has been in progress.''
A spokesman for Dole's Washington office has said that final action on the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995, which would include any demonstration project money, is expected this summer.