A longtime sight for motorists entering and leaving Lawrence’s eastern edge soon will be no more.
Crews on Tuesday were removing three large tanks that have been a part of the former Farmland Industries fertilizer property for decades.
Kamyar Manesh, the administrator for the Farmland bankruptcy trust, said the tanks were being moved on behalf of Linde Industrial Gases. Workers on site said the tanks were being moved to another facility in the Houston area.
“The tanks were used to store excess CO2 from Farmland’s fertilizer operations,” Manesh said. “Since the plant has been shut down, they haven’t done anything. They’ve been here until a new home could be found for them.”
The cleanup comes as the city of Lawrence continues to work on a deal to take over ownership and cleanup responsibilities of the 467-acre property.
City commissioners last month directed staff members to finalize documents allowing the transaction to occur. Under the proposed deal, the city will receive $8.5 million from the Farmland bankruptcy trust in exchange for assuming liability to clean up the property.
Manesh said the tanks are expected to be on the road Wednesday. He said the tanks shouldn’t create traffic problems any more severe than a typical oversized load.
Manesh said two other large tanks — holding 6 million gallons and a 2 million gallons — will remain on the property. Those tanks store water that is pumped from the ground as part of the long-term cleanup of the property. The water, which is contaminated with nitrogen fertilizer, is piped to North Lawrence where it is used on sod farms and cropland, Manesh said.