- Transportation planners add another option to SLT mix (10-18-07)
- Chat about the South Lawrence Trafficway with Grant Eichhorn (10-16-07)
- SLT in wetlands urged for traffic reasons (10-12-07)
- Transportation 2030 Web site
- LawrencePlanning.org: Road projects included in the current transportation plan (.pdf)
Lawrence city commissioners agreed Thursday that 31st Street must be extended from Haskell Avenue to O'Connell Road to alleviate east-west traffic congestion.
They also agreed that the road should have a boulevard design that promotes usage by local traffic and lower speeds.
"This is not going to be a de facto South Lawrence Trafficway," Mayor Sue Hack said. "We want green space, narrower lanes to slow traffic, bike lanes, walkways."
But commissioners were told at a Thursday morning meeting that they have to make a decision about whether to run the road straight ahead on existing right-of-way, which would put the project close to the city-operated Mary's Lake.
"It would be very close to the dam," said Ernie Shaw, interim director of the Parks and Recreation Department. "We would have some concerns about noise and other issues with all the classes and events we have out there."
Another option would be to move the road a quarter-mile south.
It is unknown which option is more affordable. No new right-of-way is needed for the first option, but the route could be costly to build because it goes through hilly, rough terrain.
By going south, the road would miss the most severe terrain, but right-of-way would be needed.
Commissioners said an engineering study should include cost comparisons and options.
The study - which will be conducted by Wilson & Company Engineers and Architects - likely will be the first step in a long process. Funding for the extension hasn't been identified, but Public Works Director Chuck Soules said the project would cost more than the $6 million it cost to rebuild Kasold Drive between Bob Billings Parkway and Clinton Parkway.
The city has received $792,000 in federal funding for the road, enough for right-of-way and preliminary design work, Soules said.