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Archive for Tuesday, January 11, 2005

City considers north Kasold improvements

Options include roundabouts, eliminating some intersections

January 11, 2005

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More vehicles certainly are in the future for the northern stretches of Kasold Drive. Now city commissioners must decide whether medians and roundabouts are, too.

Commissioners tonight are scheduled to discuss seven options for improving traffic flow on Kasold between Peterson Road and the Kansas Turnpike bridge to the north.

Residential development in the city's northwest will cause traffic on the road to increase from its current 3,000 vehicles per day to more than 15,000 by the year 2025, said Chuck Soules, the city's director of public works.

The road now has two narrow lanes, with no sidewalks or curbs and gutters. The improvement project has been in the city's plans since 1999.

"Now is really the time for us to bring this road up to city standards," Soules said.

But city commissioners will be asked to determine the specifics. Commissioners will have to decide whether the road should have medians, roundabouts, extensive landscaping and access to each of the six current intersections.

Soules said neighbors were particularly concerned about the access issues. Only three of the seven plans would allow motorists to turn left into all six intersections -- Sherwood Drive, Calvin Drive, Tillerman Drive, Huntington Road, Grand Vista Drive and Hutton Drive. At a meeting with neighbors in November, Soules said that was a major concern.

"What we found was that people liked to have the landscaping that medians would allow, but they didn't want to lose their access," Soules said.

Roundabouts also could be in the works. Three of the options would include roundabouts at Calvin and Grand Vista drives. A fourth option would include a roundabout at Grand Vista Drive only.

Soules said he favored a design that would create two 12-foot lanes with a center turn lane throughout, except at Grand Vista Drive, which would have a roundabout.

Costs range from about $1.6 million to about $1.9 million. Kansas Department of Transportation officials have committed to pay 80 percent of construction costs, with the rest funded by the city.

The project likely wouldn't begin until mid-2006 or mid-2007, depending on whether state officials have the work done at the same time of the rebuilding of the nearby turnpike bridge.

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