Archive for Monday, August 11, 2008

Douglas County to pay for half of Eudora traffic study related to turnpike interchange

Douglas County Commissioners agree to pay for half of the cost of a traffic study on a new I-70 interchange, but say the county needs to get back more specific results than mere numbers.

August 11, 2008


Douglas County will pay for half of a traffic study on Eudora, but it wants more than numbers.

The study will look at how a Kansas Turnpike interchange south of Tonganoxie would affect traffic in the city and Douglas County.

"In order to be of value, it has to help us with something other than a number," Commission Chairman Bob Johnson said. "If it looks like the impact is going to be significant, there needs to be alternative ways to deal with the traffic."

As it stands now, the interchange would send travelers wanting to hook up with Kansas Highway 10 straight through Eudora's Main Street. Eudora, which approved the as much as $17,580 study in July, asked the county to split the cost down the middle.

Keith Browning, the county's public works director and engineer, said the study was actually relatively small scale because it would simply look at diverting traffic away from Eudora's main thoroughfare.

"We're not looking at a location for a new river crossing," he said. "That would be a major project."

Browning said it was likely there would be a significant increase in traffic through the town, so it was important to look at how Eudora and the county would be affected.

The results of the study could then be used to determine whether new roads needed to be constructed to divert large-scale traffic around Main Street.

Commissioner Jere McElhaney, who originally questioned whether an independent study was necessary, did not vote as he left the meeting early after saying he felt ill.

The commission also reluctantly gave Browning permission to start soliciting bids for a bridge truss replacement near the community of Lone Star, 14 miles southwest of Lawrence.

The truss is expected to cost about $260,000.

Commissioners were wary of approving the project because the bridge gives access to only the private drives of two homes. Browning said the county's responsibility stops right after the bridge ends.

The bridge, constructed in 1910, is not approved for weights heavier than 3 tons, meaning emergency vehicles don't have quick access to the homes beyond the bridge.

"Whoever lives there owes the taxpayers a big 'thank you,'" Johnson said.

In other business:

¢ Commissioners ap-proved $227,159 worth of repairs and modernization of the elevators used in the Judicial & Law Enforcement Center. Purchasing director Jackie Waggoner said the elevators were installed in 1976 and parts are becoming obsolete.

¢ The commission approved a $553,762 bid from LRM Industries for asphalt overlay work on county roads 460 and 1061.


Danielle Brunin 9 years, 9 months ago

Although the article isn't entirely clear, a KTA interchange study would be funded by the KTA, which is completely separate from KDOT.

Thinking_Out_Loud 9 years, 9 months ago

logrithmic wrote "That may be true. Still the taxpayer ultimately pays."I'm not sure how that's so, though. KTA is entirely self-supporting with Turnpike Tolls and the rent it makes from the rest stop businesses along the Turnpike. It receives no taxpayer funds. KTA seems to me to be the ultimate free enterprise transportation system, what?

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