County officials are asking for the public's help in compiling a wish list of road projects.
Douglas County residents will have an opportunity to influence the priorities that county commissioners place on road projects during a public hearing at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday.
The hearing, which will be in the Douglas County Courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts, will be the prelude to commissioners' deliberations over the five-year plan they must submit to the Kansas Department of Transportation.
County officials identify the most pressing needs for road and bridge repairs. All the projects must be for roads on the county's federal-aid highway system and bridges eligible for federal funding. KDOT uses the counties' priority lists to distribute federal highway funds that are allocated to the states.
Douglas County Engineer Frank Hempen said his staff will present a list of recommended projects for commissioners to edit and rank.
``It represents a starting place for us to talk to the commissioners,'' Hempen said. ``If they have a desire to change priorities and add new improvement projects, then we'll take the steps to add those.''
Other projects not eligible for federal funding can be funded through other sources, such as the county's capital improvement program.
Six of the eight projects on the county public works department's recommended list have appeared on previous years' five-year plans. Two of them already are scheduled for funding.
The Wakarusa River bridge on County Route 442 on the west edge of Eudora is scheduled for replacement during the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The project, which requires a 20 percent local match of $361,250, will use an estimated $1,445,000 in federal funds.
The following year, county officials hope to take bids on a project to improve a 2.5-mile stretch of County Route 442, from east of Stull to County Route 1029. The total cost of that project, which will add shoulders and resurface the road, is estimated to be $701,250.
The remaining projects on the staff's recommended list are:
- A $535,000 project to add shoulders and improve the surface on a three-mile segment of County Route 1029, from U.S. Highway 40 to Lecompton.
- Replacement of the Captain Creek bridge on County Route 442 about 1.5 miles east of Eudora. The total cost of that project also is estimated to be $535,000.
- Resurfacing 6.5 miles of County Route 438, between County Route 1029 and Lawrence, at a total cost of about $758,500.
- Rehabilitating the Kansas Turnpike bridge on County Route 438. The Kansas Turnpike Authority will pay the local match of $150,000 for $600,000 in federal funds.
- Replacing the Gun Club Hill Bridge on County Route 1055, south of County Route 458. This project, which has a total price tag of $468,750, was not listed on the previous five-year plan.
- Shouldering one mile of County Route 1055, from 31st Street to the Wakarusa River at a total cost of about $535,000. This project also is new to the list.