The Kansas Department of Transportation has released the first two parts of a federally required study of KDOT's planned improvement of U.S. Highway 59.
The environmental impact statement will detail the effects of the highway project on the surrounding land and people, said Marty Matthews, KDOT spokesman.
The statement's first parts describe the need for increased safety and capacity on 18 miles of U.S. 59 between Lawrence and Ottawa.
It includes 16 possible options for improving safety, from no change to the current roadway to a four-lane freeway east of the existing road.
Each option will be considered, Matthews said.
"Everything that's in the scope has to be addressed in the (study)," he said.
The documents were thorough, according to members of a group lobbying for an improvement of the existing highway rather than a new freeway.
"We're very pleased that KDOT is looking at 16 alternatives, including several that build on the existing road bed," said Caryn Goldberg, spokeswoman for Franklin-Douglas Counties Coalition of Concerned Citizens.
"We hope that KDOT has been looking in-depth at all these alternatives," she added
Matthews said he hopes a more complete draft of the environmental impact statement will be available for public comment in January or February. Originally, the statement was to be completed by this fall.