Archive for Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sunflower site owners welcome KDOT study

April 16, 2008


— Owners of Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant welcome a traffic study for the region as a way of getting answers about how to develop the 9,065-acre property.

Kansas Department of Transportation announced April 10 it would conduct a traffic study of Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties. The $1 million first phase will examine the road system and its ability to handle increased traffic from such factors as the coming Burlington Northern Santa Fe intermodal complex near Gardner, continued growth near the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., a new turnpike interchange near Tonganoxie and redevelopment of Sunflower and the Farmland Industries complex in Lawrence.

The second phase will identify improvements to existing roadways and the new roads and right-of-way needed to handle increased traffic and their cost.

KDOT planning engineer Thomas Dow said the department expected to have an engineering firm in place to start the first phase in June. It is expected to take 12 to 18 months.

K-10 Association executive director Rich Caplan said it was his hope that one of the recommendations to emerge from the two-phase study was a new north-south road connecting Interstate 35 with the Kansas Turnpike at the new Tonganoxie interchange.

He and Sunflower Redevelopment LLC executive director Kise Randall said there has been speculation on the route among planning and economic development circles since the federal government transferred the closed ammunition plant to Sunflower Redevelopment in 2005. Randall welcomed the start of the KDOT study as a step to moving those discussions forward.

Last May, Sunflower Redevelopment hired the Denver-based firm Design Workshop to do the master plan of the plant's redevelopment. Randall said at that time it would take about 14 months to complete the master plan, but questions about the nature of the north-south roadway called that goal into question.

"We've been through a couple of concept sketches," she said. "One of things we've found is it's tough to go through the planning process if you don't know if you have a parkway or freeway. If you have a Ward Parkway, it's a lot different than if you have Highway 69 through your property."

A Sunflower route is not the only route possibility KDOT could recommend for the north-south road. Some conjecture has been given to a north-south route through Douglas County that would intersect with Kansas Highway 10 between Lawrence and Eudora, Caplan said.

"I think the study will evaluate alternative routes," he said. "At this point, they are very conceptual, logical ideas."

- Elvyn Jones, editor of The De Soto Explorer, can be reached at (785) 542-2747.


snowWI 10 years ago

I woould hate to see more mundane cookie cutter subdivisions on that acerage. Hopefully when the develop the property in the future that greenspace will be a priority.

ASBESTOS 10 years ago

They cannot put and residential on most of Sunflower AAP. This place was an NPL site and as such with the"use change" would make the entire site go into SUPERFUND and would violate the Transfer agreement.This is EXACTLY what I was afraid of with this transfer.Be careful, because there WILL be injured people in this issue, and there will be a developing cancer cluster.This redevelopment Corp. ought to be in jail, along with the politicians that greased this process. KDHE should take it in the shorts as well for the foul ups that are coming down the pike.What a scam!

snowWI 10 years ago

Thanks for bringing that to our attention Asbestos. I thought that the reasoning would be that certain portions of the site were contaminated, but some parts of the site could be developed?

ASBESTOS 10 years ago

Snow,That is the problem with the SFAAP "early transfer" under 103 (c) covneant. Only the property "not contaminated" or as it is "cleaned up" can be removed from the NPL and then transferred. The Transfer covenant in Superfund was to allow transfer of the parcels as they were cleaned up.That is NOT what the SFAAP did. They transferred the whole of the property, with the lawbreaking assistance fo the KDHE, EPA Region 7, and the Governator. Some "Green" politician she is.Additionally, there are LOTS of "recovered nmaterials" coming off the site and being illegally and stupidly ldispersed throughout the communites in Kansas and EPA National HQ knows about it and is VERY CONCERNED.The whole process out at SFAAP is a scam and illegal and corrupt. IT is NOT environmental friendly, no is this "cleanup" even remotely going to actually address the cleanup. Look at the development going on there. They are hardly spending anything on the actual cleanup.

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