Archive for Friday, June 13, 1997

TONGANOXIE RESIDENTS PITCH INTERCHANGE IDEA

June 13, 1997

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— A movement is under way to tie Tonganoxie to the Kansas Turnpike.

Pat Albert, Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce president, said a group of community leaders was working on a proposal to create a turnpike interchange southeast of the city.

"There are a couple of reasons we'd like to see this happen," Albert said. "No. 1, there is no exit in Leavenworth County. You'd think when you've got an interstate going through the county, there ought to be an exit on it."

Albert said the proposed exit would be on Leavenworth County Road 25, two miles east and four miles south of Tonganoxie.

It would tie the turnpike to U.S. Highway 24-40, which runs between Tonganoxie and Kansas City, Kan.

Albert said the new interchange would fit with plans being developed by the Mid-America Regional Council, a Kansas City, Mo.-based organization that is developing a long-term traffic proposal for the metro area.

Among MARC's plans is a 168-mile loop around Kansas City, which would include a new interchange.

"County Road 25 would be a legitimate place to put that," Albert said.

But don't expect a toll booth to pop up anytime soon, because planning is in its infancy. The group has discussed its plan with Leavenworth County officials but has not presented a formal proposal to the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

Albert said the group -- which is not the chamber of commerce -- has asked the KTA to provide a set of guidelines that turnpike authorities use in determining whether to open new interchanges.

"It's something we can't say is going to happen tomorrow, but it's something we think would be good for the community," he said.

Lisa Callahan, KTA spokeswoman, said turnpike officials had talked with Albert and Leavenworth County officials about the idea but that a concrete proposal had not been developed.

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