Archive for Tuesday, March 25, 2008

County wants to have 31st Street extension discussion with city leaders

March 25, 2008


City, county to discuss 31st St. extension

Douglas County commissioners want a joint meeting with the Lawrence City Commission to discuss extending 31st street from Haskell Avenue east to O'Connell Road. Enlarge video

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The eastward extension of 31st Street from Haskell Avenue to O'Connell Road should be the subject of a meeting of city and county leaders, Douglas County commissioners say.

County leaders think the entire 31st Street route east of Iowa Street should be considered in planning the extension. The county is interested in a possible extension of the street to Douglas County Route 1057, about two miles east of O'Connell Road.

"I think we need to look at the broader footprint," Commissioner Charles Jones said.

County commissioners met Monday morning with Keith Browning and Chuck Soules, the county and city public works directors, along with city consultants working on a 31st Street extension plan.

The city has $800,000 earmarked for the planned expansion of 31st Street to O'Connell Road. The funds could be used for preliminary engineering design, right-of-way acquisition and some construction. The project would be administered by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The city plans to set up a steering committee to work with consultants on planning, such as identifying an alignment for the street extension to O'Connell Road. Currently 31st Street ends just east of Haskell at the west entrance to Mary's Lake.

County commissioners, however, said they might be willing to pay for a study on extending the street to Route 1057, which runs north and south. Browning said he would work up a series of questions and issues that a study should address and have them ready by next week.

"If you can come up with a rough estimate of how much that study would cost, then we can work with the city and figure out how to cobble our resources," Jones said to Browning.

In other business Monday:

¢ Commissioners agreed to waive the bidding process to purchase a Manatron tax information system and related Internet services for an initial cost up to $424,000. The system retains land ownership records and is used, in part, to calculate assessed values, produce tax rolls and tax bills. Several county offices use the system. It will replace a system that has been in use since 1982. The maintenance contract on the old system will expire in a few months and cannot be renewed, commissioners were told.

¢ Commissioners appointed Paul Liechti, Lawrence, to a vacancy on the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Board of Directors.


gccs14r 10 years ago

31st runs through the wetlands. A simple glance past the north shoulder reveals that.

gccs14r 10 years ago

The existing road shouldn't have been put in. I would tear it out. Having 31st between Louisiana and Iowa is fine. Extending it past Prairie Park would destroy one of the last remaining quiet areas in town.

Jean1183 10 years ago

Build it!!!

31st Street was the original route for the SLT over 20 years ago., it made too much sense and they hadn't wasted enough of our tax dollars yet.

twaldaisy 10 years ago

And then as people are driving to Oconnell Road to 10 hiway, we can pay for a light at that intersection. Oh and let's not forget to build houses and duplexes to sit empty next to the new road to show how much Lawrence population is growing.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years ago

Why not put a light at 31st and Louisiana? That would help with traffic flow, but then there wouldn't be as many complaints.

twaldaisy 10 years ago

Agreed Harley. The people turning left from 10 to Oconnell have to use the shoulder as a turning lane. Not real bright planning. Of course not that long ago Oconnell was a dirt road and hardly anyone had to turn onto that road.

Richard Heckler 10 years ago

Following the extention of 31st which in and of itself increases the cost of community services, will be more: water and sewer lines streets and repairs houses public schools fire stations law enforcement manpower sidewalks snow removal bike trails and cross walks Traffic signals Traffic calming developers requesting more tax dollar assistance(new infrastructure) for their warehouses and retail strip malls. *In general increases the cost of community services to all taxpayers. ========================== Yes the real estate industry now has NW Lawrence public schools filled up. So now BOD members are back again discussing boundary changes = more bus travel = more tax dollars = more tax increases. Or maybe another public school building. Ready yet to make builders/the Chamber/real estate executives pay impact fees yet? ========================= Recall the commissioners! They promised they would not support tax hikes yet most every project on the table requires tax dollar spending.

sjschlag 10 years ago

Build it!

23rd street is already a mess. Hopefully extending 31st will get some more traffic off of there. I try to explain to all of my environmentalist friends that this thing needs to be built. Oh well, there is no compromise with those folks sometimes. They wouldn't even accept a road on stilts through the wetlands, even though it would probably bring more folks there to enjoy it.

Richard Heckler 10 years ago

It should be interesting when the commissioners dictate the tax increase for this road extension and then come around again to fund the $200,000,000 bypass.

Plus the $42 million North Lawrence Project then tax dollars for the maintenance of all the new infrastructure.

gccs14r 10 years ago

"Yep, now THAT is practical. Rip out a road that has been there for thirty plus years."

Just because there has been a road there for awhile doesn't mean that there has to be a road there. Some states are removing river dams to restore fisheries, and dams cost a lot more than a mile of 2-lane blacktop.

Thats_messed_up 10 years ago

We need to get rid of the four way stop at 31st and lousiana and the 3 way stop at 31st and haskell and install a more modern human traffic cop to direct traffic one vehicle at a time. We also need to destroy one lane of 31st street and provide signal men and follow-me vehicles to direct one way traffic alternately as now that crazy 2-way traffic is moving waaay too efficiently through those intersections. We also need to increase the size of the trucking operation just north on haskell because we just installed brand new curbs which provide another 3 inches of road width thereby tripling the capacity of Haskell. I'll be watching from KC when the 31st extension opens in 2024. It's so exciting to see the leaps and bounds of progress here in Lawrence!
The last eleven years of 2-lane commuting from prairie park to Topeka will definitely be sorely missed when I'm living in Olathe NOT logging in to this paper to find out the latest chapter in how F'd up this half-a$$ed town is.

nrvana8775 10 years ago

All of the plans are based on Horizon 2020, which used city data from the 90s to project growth. Growth in the south and west will definitely slow.

Also, do you guys really think all of these JOCO folks are going to stay in the West if property taxes keep increasing? Isn't that who this is meant to benefit, the west side people?

Have fun with all of the extra traffic brought about by a connection to us-59 and the nafta superhighway.

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