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Archive for Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pontoon plan

September 26, 2006

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To the editor:

Several letters recently in the Journal-World expressed some dissension and frustration about completely closing the Lecompton bridge. Their anxiety is certainly understandable. Many sacrifices will have to be made, and it will be asking a lot for the kids to have to make a daily 33-mile detoured commute to attend school. Plus, the district's fuel consumption costs will skyrocket.

On the positive side, if the repair work could get started early, and have the bridge closed for just the last two months of school - April and May - it could be open again for the start of the new school year. (Perhaps construction could get started in March so as to offset any work delay). Even under the one-lane-open scheme, the bridge would have to be closed for two months anyway. Unfortunately, then construction would drag on for nearly a year.

As an alternative, the folks should formulate a "pontoon" plan. The school buses could deliver the kids to the river's edge, where a pontoon boat would taxi the students across the narrow stream. The kids could then board waiting buses on the other bank. Would this take coordination? Definitely, and a lot of it. But it would be well worth it, and it would beat the other option, beyond a doubt.

As a major connecting route for the two counties, each time repairs are required, the disruption is going to become greater and greater. It brings into sharp focus the need for a twin bridge, if not now, in the very near future.

Richard Smith,

Lawrence

Comments

Uncle_Salty 7 years, 6 months ago

For me personally it comes down to school enrollment figures for USD 343 Perry Lecompton Schools.

The newspaper article that said it is only a 35 minute commute from Lecompton Elementary School to PLHS and PLMS is probably correct. But is that during the 7 AM to 8 AM rush hour?

And what about the kids that are already on the bus for 45 minutes or longer (in some instances... students with Berryton addresses come to mind) BEFORE they get to LES?

I fully expect, with total bridge closure, that our district could lose up to 30% of its enrollment, as parents take their kids either to Shawnee Heights or Lawrence schools. USD 343 in turn would lose $1.2 MILLION! And that doesn't count moneis that the district gets from transportation, meals, and special needs kids that would also transfer. We are talking some serious funds!

Don't believe the Douglas County Commissioners: If Lawrence public schools wants the extra funding that each additional rear in the seats brings on September 20th, they not only allow students to cross district boundaries; they'd be foolish not to recruit them!

Yes... the bridge does directly affect me: I work for the district and I live in Lecompton! I drive over that bad boy 2 or more times EVERY day. Douglas County is saving $750,000. Big Deal! It'll cost USD 343 $1.2 Million, and potentially much more! That figure is just the first year. The longer students stay out of the district, the more money will be lost.

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imastinker 7 years, 6 months ago

Jeffeson county is expected to pay a share of it. I believe the actual number is about 35%. But I don't think they should have to pay if their share if the bridge won't remain open like we want.

This is a very big deal for a little portion of Douglas county, and a little deal for a very big portion of Jefferson county. We can drive around. Perry can too - but it's a long way.

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tweetybird2 7 years, 7 months ago

I think Jefferson County should pay a share of the expense. I don't think they are saying they shouldn't. What I believe they are saying is that Douglas County should consider the needs of the local people and I don't think they are.

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oldgoof 7 years, 7 months ago

imastinker: "So how does this bridge benefit Jefferson county more than Douglas county? It doesn't. This bridge makes it easy for people to come give Lawrence our money."

I have never said it benefits Jefferson county more....what I have said consistently, it benefits Jefferson County some. Including the benefits of more affordable housing etc. What is wrong for a reasonable contribution. All I hear is that Jeff County should have no contribution and the bridge should simultaneously remain open. To that I say balderdash. Jeff County benefits plenty...employees and students do go the other way. . What is wrong with a reasonable share? What is wrong is NO share.

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imastinker 7 years, 7 months ago

oldgoof: This is exactly the entitlement attitude which is at the root of the problem here. This is not a benefits-only-Douglas County bridge.

I don't agree. This bridge is used by a lot of people in Jefferson county, but if they want us to pay for it they should listen to our opinion. The only reason a lot of go into Douglas county is to spend money, and I can do that in Leavenworth County or Wyandotte county more easily with this bridge closed down. Some people come to Douglas county to work, which also benefits Douglas county a lot more than Jefferson county. So how does this bridge benefit Jefferson county more than Douglas county? It doesn't. This bridge makes it easy for people to come give Lawrence our money.

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concernedparent 7 years, 7 months ago

Thats the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Apparently Dick hasn't been to the Lecompton bridge before.

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oldgoof 7 years, 7 months ago

Imastinker: "They want Jefferson County to pay part of the bill, and then won't let us use it for a year." . . This is exactly the entitlement attitude which is at the root of the problem here. This is not a benefits-only-Douglas County bridge.

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tweetybird2 7 years, 7 months ago

Don't forget about the train tracks on the south side of the river. Again, it is not just school days this will effect. It is every single day.

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imastinker 7 years, 7 months ago

Twin bridges are unreasonable, and so are pontoons.

But closing the bridge is a bad solution as well. I live in McLouth, and prefer to go out to eat by the speedway or Overland Park to going into Lawrence. It's incredibly difficult to get through lawrence, and this will make it harder to get around.

They want Jefferson County to pay part of the bill, and then won't let us use it for a year.

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oldgoof 7 years, 7 months ago

twin bridges?? If that traffic load justifies twin bridges, then there are many others to be constructed in the state.

Entitlement run amok.

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blessed3x 7 years, 7 months ago

How about teleportation pads in Lecompton and Perry? They could just "beam" the kids to school.

Hey, it's just as reasonable as the pontoon hogwash. Is Mr. Smith (if that is your real name) going to pay the ridiculous insurance premiums when the insurance company finds out the school district is taking the little darlings on a three hour tour twice a day? Just make the drive. It'll all be over soon and you won't have to worry about it for another 30 years.

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