Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2001

Baker U. president to weigh in on trafficway

August 30, 2001


Baker University has something to say about the continuing saga over the South Lawrence Trafficway.

Baker President Daniel Lambert has scheduled a 9 a.m. news conference today to talk about the trafficway at the Lawrence Holidome, 200 McDonald Drive.

Baker spokesman John Fuller said Wednesday few details were being released about today's discussion.

"Dr. Lambert has some news to tell about the trafficway," Fuller said.

In the past, Fuller said, Baker has supported a 31st Street route that ran along the northern border of the university's property and did the least damage to the wetlands.

"Thirty-second Street wasn't on the table before, and I think we would be willing to look at 38th Street, but it's hard to tell," he said.

A 35th Street route would bisect the Baker property and destroy 40 acres of wetlands.

The proposed bypass would connect Kansas Highway 10 on the city's east side with Interstate 70 northwest of Lawrence. The western leg of the trafficway has been finished and terminates at U.S. Highway 59 in southern Lawrence.

Mike Rees, Kansas Department of Transportation chief counsel, said he has had several conversations with Lambert since last year when KDOT decided to pursue completion of the trafficway's eastern leg.

"Baker is a significant entity in the trafficway puzzle," Rees said. "I have been in frequent contact with Dr. Lambert since last year, and the conversations we have had have been keeping him informed about what the situation was."

Rees said he has not worked out any land deals with Baker.

"There was never any courting of Baker," he said. "Their interest is obvious and their concern is obvious, but no one has ever said, 'We would give you this, if you do this.'"

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