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Archive for Sunday, October 31, 2010

South Lawrence Trafficway could get state funding in 2013

October 31, 2010

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Regional support for the South Lawrence Trafficway makes it a likely candidate for state funding in 2013.

In response to the $8 billion transportation bill the state legislature approved last spring, the Kansas Department of Transportation has spent the past two-and-half months hosting workshops to gauge what projects residents want to fund first.

One that continued to surface to the top was the SLT, a four-lane road that would extend the existing highway seven miles from U.S. Highway 59 to Kansas Highway 10.

For almost a decade, state and local officials have been planning for the road, but have been at a loss when it came to finding money to pay for the project. The proposed road has also been controversial because it threatens to destroy part of the Baker Wetlands, opponents say.

“It’s a project that has been needed for a very long time and one we still believe necessary to handle congestion of east to west traffic,” Lawrence Mayor Mike Amyx said. “I believe as we look into the future it is going to be needed a lot more as growth happens and things pick up.”

At one of KDOT’s workshops in Kansas City in early October, the $188 million South Lawrence Trafficway project was at the top of the list for funding. The northeast region is expected to receive between $500 million and $800 million.

“The completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway was one of the highest ranking projects coming out of the discussions,” Lawrence Assistant City Manager Diane Stoddard said.

KDOT spokeswoman Kimberly Qualls said it just wasn’t Lawrence officials who backed the project.

“For people traveling from Topeka and back and forth as far as Manhattan, it’s another corridor to have access to Kansas City,” Qualls said.

Other popular projects in the region included upgrades to the section of Interstate 70 that cuts through downtown Topeka, the I-70 and Kansas Highway 7 interchange in Wyandotte County, and the Johnson County gateway at Interstate 435, Interstate 35 and K-10.

KDOT plans to take the feedback it has received from the workshops throughout the state and create a list of the top projects in Kansas. That list is expected to be released in February or March.

“It will be a hard, physical list of projects that will be funded,” Qualls said. The $1.7 billion to go toward expansion and modernization projects, which the South Lawrence Trafficway would fall under, will be available by 2013.

As for now, KDOT continues to work on the preliminary design for the South Lawrence Trafficway, which will align along 32nd Street. The state agency is also acquiring small pieces of right-of-way to build the road.

“We have a line on a paper and not much else at this point,” Qualls said.

Comments

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

"At one of KDOT’s workshops in Kansas City in early October, the $188 million South Lawrence Trafficway project was at the top of the list for funding. The northeast region is expected to receive between $500 million and $800 million.

“The completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway was one of the highest ranking projects coming out of the discussions,” Lawrence Assistant City Manager Diane Stoddard said."

Reckless use of tax dollars. If anything must be built I-70 connectors are the only plan worth moving forward. Not only that toll road fees would pay for the project which is much better than me paying for an obsolete and environmentally destructive plan.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 1 month ago

Merrill is pro-tax when it comes to faux progressive regressive sales taxes and property taxes to support projects that will, at best, serve the minority of the community but he is quick to complain about taxes when they are being spent on something he doesn't like. Hypocrite.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

To say there is no other way is simply not acceptable. There is always another way. Such as " many concepts built into one fiscally responsible plan = prudent thinking".

SAY NO to the high tax dollar obsolete Trafficway that will NOT improve 23rd street. The only way to improve 23rd is to SAY NO to KU students…… good luck on removing the ONLY dependable Lawrence revenue source.

SAY YES to a no tax dollar bypass that can accomplish many things such as saving tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars.

I-70 connectors east of Eudora were among the potential choices. This could be a toll road thereby users to include 18 wheelers help finance the project. This concept accomplishes many things. First and foremost it saves taxpayers closer to $300 million.... I'll never believe the obsolete trafficway can be built for $188 million after 20 years.

The new I-70 connectors off K-10 going north, I-70 and the west leg of K-10 should all be toll roads. This combination provides a loop around Lawrence thus eliminating any need for further construction of new pork barrel highway projects.

Thus saving about $200,000,000 - $300,000,000(million) for taxpayers.

It also services: • Johnson and Douglas county traffic going to northwest Lawrence or Topeka. Or Lawrence and Topeka traffic going to JOCO. • the Eudora Business Park east of 1057. • East Hills Business Park and the southeast Lawrence industrial park. • the Lawrence airport. And it: • diverts traffic around the city. • keeps the SLT out of the wetlands. • reduces congestion for morning and afternoon commuters. • Douglas County taxpayers save millions upon millions of dollars. • Eliminates use of tax dollars. • Eliminates the need for an eastern bypass * Would not dump fast moving traffic off uncomfortably close to the congested city limits on to the K-10 speedway • allows KTA fees to pay for the highway and maintenance.

Now this plan is on to something….. many concepts built into one fiscally responsible plan = prudent thinking.

I-70 is there to be used so let's do it. Saving REAL BIG tax dollars is a new concept. Pork barrel projects = wasted and inefficient use of tax dollars.

conservative 4 years, 1 month ago

The slt is needed badly to reduce traffic thru lawrence. Build it already. On a sidenote i implore the ljworld once again to add an ignore feature to the comments section. 90% of the time i read the paper and comments on my phone. The ability to ignore merril's relentless long winded cut and paste comments on so many articles would be quite appreciated.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Vee have no use for contrary of view. Zee corporate interests have spoken and you vill be SILENT.

conservative 4 years, 1 month ago

No you see I asked for an option so that I wouldn't have to read his drivel. Didn't ask that they silence him for everyone. See the difference?

KS 4 years, 1 month ago

I can't think of a better use of taxpayer money. Let the pavers roll.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

YESSSS! Maybe we can finally move ahead....and start to squabble about something else? Like it or not, this is about progress. I'm sorry for you if you somehow are comfortable enough at whatever you do that you can seriously say that the rest of Lawrence or the county can not move forward from the constipated 23rd street and the bogus claims of why not finish K-10. In case you people have forgotten there are two main arterials that enter Lawrence that are going to continue to increase in volume no matter what you wish or believe - US59 will soon become 4 lanes and with it considerable more traffic from the south or thru Lawrence to the south. The other is K-10 from the east. These two roads empty onto either 23rd or Iowa. Yet the opponents of completing K-10 claim that an alternate route around Lawrence will have no impact on either 23rd or Iowa. City and county officials have finally moved ahead to convert the "brownfields" of Farmland past into productive industrial space, which will eventually bring hundreds if not thousands of jobs to Lawrence. Those businesses MUST have an alternative to trucking their goods east on K-10 or west down 23rd street. The intermodal in Edgerton will also significantly increase traffic traveling west on K-10 into Lawrence - whether or not K-10 continues down 23rd or around town. Let's get K-10 connected around the southeast part of town and move on!

pinecreek 4 years, 1 month ago

What a huge waste of money. Ask your local representatives the following questions:

Where is the current data that shows how much (by raw numbers and percentage) of traffic on 23rd Street will be permanently moved to the Trafficway? (Hint: their data is 20 years old and is not accurate and does not answer the question). How will the Trafficway way alleviate the tens of thousands of cars moving to and from the KU campus each day--inside the Trafficway footprint? (Hint: it won't) Finally, how much will traffic flow on 23rd Street improve after the Trafficway is built? (Hint: it won't--they cannot provide ANY data that shows a long-term improvement)

If they want to solve the problem--which is traffic flow on the south side of town (23rd Street) then fix the actual problem--rebuild 23rd Street, adjust the number of intersections/traffic lights, reduce the cross traffic and turns and reduce the number of access points. Building a Trafficway fixes nothing for the source problem. That $100 million (or more) could easily fix the real problem.

doc1 4 years, 1 month ago

Just go to 31st & Haskell and see how much traffic bottles up there everyday. On certain days people trying to bypass 23rd Street via 31st street will have a bumper to bumper backup from Louisiana to Haskell right in the middle of the wetlands. Thats just common sense people are trying to bypass 23rd and the current method sucks.

cozy 4 years, 1 month ago

23rd & Haskell is constantly backed up to Barker Ave. It should NEVER be that bad. Its also dangerous coming up on traffic on the bridge there. Traffic is stopped and you can't see until youre right there. Its dangerous to be that congested.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

How was the public notified of these "workshops?" I certainly saw no notices in this newspaper about them.

"“For people traveling from Topeka and back and forth as far as Manhattan, it’s another corridor to have access to Kansas City,” Qualls said."

Going south of the river would be much preferable for these drivers, since they have no interest in visiting Lawrence.

redmoonrising 4 years, 1 month ago

Is the air thinner up there in the clouds or what? Or does it just make you keep typing and typing, spewing recycled versions of the same thing over and over and over and.......

beerbaron03 4 years, 1 month ago

Anyone who thinks 23rd street is ever congested, even at rush hour, has clearly never lived in a city with real traffic.

deec 4 years, 1 month ago

Or driven I-35 anywhere between downtown and about Antioch during rush hour.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

Pinecreek - The data is not 20 years old - it was "re-collected" in 2001. Check out the stats that were presented in the EIS from 2002 and again in 2006. There was a predicted significant long-term positive impact to 23rd st. You are correct that the biggest problem is internal but if you remove a significant portion of heavy truck traffic the road will hold up longer.

And hint to you - even if K-10 is NOT rerouted around Lawrence it will be a long time coming before KDOT comes up with any significant funds to improve existing 23rd st. If K-10 is completed to the south (on 32nd st) it will remove significant amounts of traffic (as the stats indicate - whether you want to see the truth or not) on 23rd. But guess what - 23rd will no longer be part of the state highway system at that point and KDOT will again, have no need, nor desire, to put money into correcting the issue on 23rd st. So I guess the morale of the story is - get used to it on 23rd st and quit using that as an excuse to argue against completion of K-10 around Lawrence.

pinecreek 4 years, 1 month ago

"You are correct that the biggest problem is internal but if you remove a significant portion of heavy truck traffic the road will hold up longer." Road lifetime duration does not equal traffic congestion relief.

"get used to it on 23rd st and quit using that as an excuse to argue against completion of K-10 around Lawrence." I am used to it and, as you say, the source of the congestion on 23rd (internal traffic) is still not addressed by a Trafficway. The worst part though is the amount of money---$100 million plus for an incomplete and unproven solution. Using 'available funding' as a justifcation for a project is poor rationale. That's part of what has gotten this state and this country into the financial state that it's in.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

Pinecreek - So what is your point? You have gotten used to the congestion - and let's face it, it really isn't that bad if you are going to some other short distance location on 23rd. It is only a problem if you are trying to get to Wakarusa or west 6th, or the other direction to the east - hence finish K-10 outside of Lawrence! On the other hand, if congestion does cause you heart burn, move to Scott City or Goodland. They would be glad to have traffic congestion. Look, the US population is close to 350 mill and continuing to rise at about 1.8% which is higher than any other developed country in the world. And those people are not moving back to the farms. Therefore we will always be "fighting congestion". So unless you are willing to move to areas of negative growth get use to congestion!

Your statement "Using 'available funding' as justification for a project..." makes no sense?!? Since when was a project built with "unavailable funding"? This project missed the last Transportation Project cycle - US59 was in it. The completion of K-10 has been ready for funding since 2002 (some would say since 1989) and now it is time to move ahead and start complaining about something else you will never have the opportunity to affect.

pinecreek 4 years, 1 month ago

My point is that $100 million for this project and its unproven ability to resolve the core issue (23rd Street traffic congestion) is a huge waste of taxpayer money.

Your point about the congestion being a problem for someone headed to Wakarusa or 6th, followed by the suggestion to 'move to Scott City or Goodland'....perhaps the suggestion is to the wrong audience. I don't have heartburn from the current situation, but clearly others do. Suggest alternatives to them.

Finally, 'ready for funding' and 'being funded' (the source of the news story to begin with) are two very different realities. This roadway has been targeted for funding but never funded to completion. As to my 'complaining about something else I will never have the opportunity to affect'....wow, that is some bravado on your part. Guess that the average citizen should just shut up and let the powers that be do whatever they want. Thanks for setting me straight.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

Rattle your saber back all you want. We'll see where this goes. I'm not saying that you shouldn't follow your dreams (or whatever) I'm just pointing out that KDOT believes this road is needed badly enough in the regional scheme of things that this time around it will be funded.

Al Deathe 4 years, 1 month ago

Is there a button that I can push that will hide Merrill's rantings. I wish someone would tell him that it gets old reading his opinions on EVERYTHING!!!!! Anyone who remembers the days prior to the western bypass and now you would realize that the eastern side of the bypass is really needed. He is correct on one point, the eastern side must be connected to I70 to get the full effect. Merrill needs to recall the story about the child who called wolf, people stop listening when you never stop talking!!!! Try picking a few thing that matter and quit trying to be the social conscious for EVERYONE!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"Is there a button that I can push that will hide Merrill's rantings."

Yea, it's called the scroll wheel on your mouse.

doc1 4 years, 1 month ago

It needs to be built and it will be built.

tharral 4 years, 1 month ago

Its been to many years,BUILD IT!!! and be done and move on!

BigPrune 4 years, 1 month ago

With the upcoming opening of 4-lane Highway 59 to I-35 and the estimated increase of traffic along 23rd Street going from 30,000 vehicles per day today to 60,000 vehicles per day in the very near future, the naysayers against the slt, many whom never venture out of the downtown area, will be silenced once and for all. Cut and paste all you want, it will fall on deaf ears.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

All the more reason to build south of the river.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

That pass-through traffic would be much better served by a south-of-the-river route. And so would Lawrence.

Bruce Rist 4 years, 1 month ago

How about the Kansas Turnpike Authority build it and make it part of the toll?

gccs14r 4 years, 1 month ago

It would be better if the State put that $8 billion toward education, instead of yet more temporary asphalt.

Mike Ford 4 years, 1 month ago

for those of you who advocate building south of the river and creating a true bypass, I say yokoke (thank you). For many years the voices of the loud and uneducated have drowned out the voices of reason. These voices sound like the manifest theft voices of 150 years ago that pushed the theft of over thirteen million acres of tribal land from many of the tribes now in oklahoma. I drive 300 miles a week just in Lawrence and I've done so for thirteen years. I drive 205 miles a week to Lawrence and back for work. The traffic is not as bad as the promoters would like you to believe. For those of you about to assail me for this comment, try driving up or down I-35 around the I-435 bridge between Olathe and Overland Park at 7:30 AM or 4:30 PM on a daily basis. That's congestion. 31st street is not anywhere that bad. This project is an albatross that hasn't even been to court this time yet. so keep talking this mess.......

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

scottit, bozo, and tuschie - you guys are relentlessly out of touch, if nothing else. KDOT and FHWA have both repeatedly said - it is going to go on 32nd or no where. To keep saying that the SOR is preferable is laughable. Let's see - all 3 of you guys in the past "claim" to want to protect the "insert name" wetlands. Yet you obviously didn't understand the traffic numbers in the EIS and what the city and county have both stated. If the SLT is completed SOR or NOT completed at all 31st will become 4 lanes very quickly and the entrance to the wetlands off of 31st will be closed. Next the county will widen Haskell Ave down to the Wakarusa and the east entrance will become difficult, if not hazardous and then eventually Louisiana will also become 4 lanes. Is that your game plan to protect the wetlands by enclosing it in 4 lanes roads on 3 sides. With "Friends of the Wetlands" like you guys the animals better pack up and move on NOW! If the 32nd st alignment is used the wetlands south of 31st will lose 56 ac but there will be 300+ acres of wetlands restored, along with building a visitor center and a long list of other benefits to animals and the people that appreciate wetlands. And Tuschie - PLEASE, tell us again how ignorant, I mean, uneducated we are...simply because we disagree with your warped, negative perspective on the world.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

If in the inevitable court challenge it's ruled that the Haskell Wetlands can't be paved over, I guarantee you that KDOT will have plans developed for a SOR alignment in very short order. If not, it's because completion of the SLT isn't all that necessary, after all.

mikeydku13 4 years, 1 month ago

i live in western douglas county and travel primarily to johnson county and i have to agree.. .the whole.. driving down k-10, to get off on iowa to swing down 31st, back towards 23rd...its just ridiculous! its def time that we get this new highway up and running.... enough with the blah and the blah of the wetlands...maybe the can settle and build an elevated highway or something...but it is def time that they get that highway up and running, especially now that 59 is getting closer to town... lawrence has grown and its time that our methods for trasnportation does too! i hope they start the new highway ASAP!

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

Why would Mikeyd care whether it was south of the river or thru the wetlands? That is 2 miles further than the chosen alignment. Just because you don't want the road through the wetlands doesn't mean that that impacts anyone else.

Mike Ford 4 years, 1 month ago

I commented in all of the eis and seis documents, Idahowinds. I drive pass the fake wetlands everyday. I see migratory geese and that's it. You can have your FAKE wetlands and the sellout exploitation of nature and indigenous peoples courtesy of Roger Boyd.You're the one that knows nothing of how the Kansas Nebraska Act and the theft of Shawnee lands happened. Go to the United Tribe of Shawnee Indians smokeshop on 83rd street and talk to Shawnee elder Jimmie Oyler about how he has 20 acres of tribal land left out of the 1.6 million acres that the Shawnee tribes held until 1854 and 1867. His smokeshop is east of De Soto. I'm sure he could inform you of your historical ignorance if you can stand an earful. Furthermore Tunky Dunky, I'd like to see you take in a mississauga or pygmy rattler after you destroy their home. And for the 9 millionth time, no one can build a casino on the Haskell campus or wetlands. Someone must've gone to one of those tea party educational gatherings and really learned a lot......not....

ralphralph 4 years, 1 month ago

It's all about the Intermodal. Real money and political power are tied to that project, and its proponents are going to get (or take) what they want. You really have little say about it, and you're not genuinely being asked ... the meetings are a dog & pony show. Neither the local hippies nor the local developers are impacting the decision, so you should be nicer to each other. The real big business interests that drive your Federal Government and they are going to drive this right down the middle, like it or not.

gorilla10 4 years, 1 month ago

please continue k-10 through Lawrence!!!!! 23rd street is waaaaaaaay too crowded and is a huge safety issue! Lawrence is growing too fast and travel between KC and Topeka is limited to a toll road......This has to happen!!!!!

deec 4 years, 1 month ago

I think rather than the government spending millionsof dollars on the bypass, a lot of people just need to locate the alternate route button on their GPS devices. Or learn to read a map.

gorilla10 4 years, 1 month ago

what day and age are you living in.....

gatekeeper 4 years, 1 month ago

Or do like I did. I work in JoCo, so I moved from west Lawrence to N. Lawrence so I can easily jump on 32 or 70. Silly me, thinking others can use common sense and make things work for them instead of expecting the govt to build special roads just for thier convenience. And I bet a lot of these people claim to be for small govt, but insist the govt make their lives easier. I bet they also don't have any native blood and don't give a rats *ss about heritage.

deec 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm living in the age of diminishing resources and widespread financial instability. And you?

gorilla10 4 years, 1 month ago

way too far deeco, this has to do with a bypass. Not freakin rocket science.......

deec 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry you are unable to figure out one of the myriad alternate routes from Topeka to Kansas City, so you advocate for spending millions of dollars to destroy valuable wetlands. It's not rocket science to figure out how to get from Topeka to Kansas City. But you go ahead and think our nearly bankrupt state and federal governments have money lying around to make your commute a couple of minutes faster.

Mike Ford 4 years, 1 month ago

corky, I'm Choctaw indian, get used to it.

Mike Ford 4 years, 1 month ago

corky, I'm Choctaw indian, get used to it.

Mike Ford 4 years, 1 month ago

corky, I'm Choctaw indian, get used to it.

Mike Ford 4 years, 1 month ago

corky, I'm Choctaw indian, get used to it.

Mike Ford 4 years, 1 month ago

corky, I'm Choctaw indian, get used to it.

Mike Ford 4 years, 1 month ago

corky, I'm Choctaw indian, get used to it.

Bluefire 4 years, 1 month ago

Build it over the swamp and put in pull over lanes to fish the swamp. Maybe put in a boat ramp or two.

Armored_One 4 years, 1 month ago

I know this is a silly question, but I just HAVE to ask it.

With all this noise about "stolen" Indian lands, how many of the homeowners would be willing to just give up their homes, since I'm pretty sure 99% of Lawrence, if not all of it, was once "Indian land".

Land that is returned like that is rarely ever transfered with the current property owner getting so much as a red cent.

I just find it fairly amusing that no one stops to think about that.

Basically all of the Dakotas are gone, and with it a lot of our nuclear deterrence. Offut AFB would have to be given back, which means SAC would need a new home.

Forest and trees, my fellow readers. Forests and trees.

ralphralph 4 years, 1 month ago

I thought it was settled knowledge that the idea of "Indian Land" is a myth-legend. If not, then how did the Indians "get" the land?

It was my understanding, for example, that the Kaw migrated into this valley in the 1600s, after being pushed from their previous home in the Ohio Valley ... not by Europeans, but by expanding and more powerful Eastern tribes. So, if the land of the Kaw Valley somehow became "theirs", doesn't that mean they took it for someone else ... just like the Eastern tribes took their lands along the Ohio .... just like the Lakota took the Black Hills from the Cheyenne and the Crow ... just like the English took the land of my Welsh ancestors, and ultimately pushed us to come here, just like the Kaw?

Neither the Kaw, nor the Welsh, are true natives of this valley --- rather, both were immigrants. The "Indians" are no more native than the Welsh, they just got here from somewhere else sooner.

Is a prior claim always a superior claim? If the "white man" were to "give back" the Black Hills, then to whom, exactly would he give it? What about the Kaw Valley? If it were given back, could it right be given to "just any old Indian" or is there some particular group or family entitled to it?

Armored_One 4 years, 1 month ago

First, I was using generalization, instead of a specific tribe...

I was just going for the general chuckle behind the concept. You, apparently, grabbed that rope in your teeth and took off like that proverbial bat Meatloaf named an album after.

I thought it was a funny idea, all told, but you kind of trampled all the humor right out of it. To quote Poe's raven's next door neighbor the bluejay... Nevermind...

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

Ralph - You are putting way too much thought into this according to Tuschie. He makes the claim it was stolen as shock treatment because he has NO RATIONAL comments to make. Think about it - what difference does it make whether the land was supposedly stolen? There is no rational process by which it could/would be returned to the Shawnee!?! Next, what in the world does Tuschie think is relevant between stolen land and completing K-10 around Lawrence? Nothing!! Again - he is trying to make us think he has ANY intelligent things to say.
If he did, he would probably realize that there is no such thing as "fake wetlands". I can envision an artificial wetland made of concrete, wood, plastic, and steel....but I really can't envision what exactly a "fake wetland" would be? Not being in touch with reality, Tuschie has forgotten that the current Baker Wetlands were 80% crop land and 100% drained when they received it from the fed gov in 1968. Not until Dr. Boyd started to reverse the draining process in the early 1990s did the area begin to revert back to wetlands - most of it has been there less than 20 years. This is the same process that Boyd seems to be using west of Louisiana so I guess that means, according to Tuschie's definition, the current Baker Wetlands are just as "fake" as the restoration area. One thing is good to know, however. Tuschie seems to be keeping his delusional eyes on the road rather than looking around him. No one could have driven by the "fake wetlands" all summer long without seeing egrets, herons, families of ducks as well as the geese...and of course the are hundreds of little birds that Tuschie would have never seen without stopping. But then again, Tuschie doesn't really want to see any of the other wildlife there cause that would warp his own delusional world into a major upheaval of confusion....and then he might post the same irrelevant statement 10 times!

gccs14r 4 years, 1 month ago

There are two choices: build the road south of the river, or build the road as a low bridge and pipe the bridge runoff to somewhere other than the wetlands.

Wetlands will eventually be a federally protected land classification, and along with that will probably be subject to forced restoration, with any interfering structures having to be removed. Why waste money, time, and materials building something that will have to be removed later, especially when there is a clear alternative available not far away?

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes, there were two options back in 2001 when the US Army Corps of Engineers wrote their EIS and again in 2005 when FHWA accepted the Corps EIS and then conducted a 4(f) study. In both cases the "South of the River" alignment was rejected in favor of the "32nd St." alignment. No where was a low bridge considered. Mainly due to the cost of the bridge and the fact that there was no compelling reason to go to the expense.

Wetlands have been federally protected since the Clean Water Act in the 1970's. If it weren't for that protection this road would have been completed YEARS ago. The US Army Corps of Engineers issued a "Section 404 fill permit" in Dec. 2003 based upon their acceptance of the mitigation package developed in agreement between KDOT, Baker University (the land owner!), Douglas County, KS Dept of Wildlife and Parks, and KS Division of Water Resources. That mitigation replaces the 56 acres of wetlands that will be lost to the road by restoring 304 ac of wetlands - by the same process that Dr. Boyd did in the existing wetlands in the early 1990's. In addition to this there will be about 16 acres of riparian land and about 40 ac of upland that will be restored to prairie - all of which will be transferred to Baker to manage. There will also be money available to build a visitor center and an endowment to fund staffing and maintenance of the visitor center and the wetland complex. All of this is in the required mitigation package included in the EIS - all for the purpose of building the road on 32nd St. All of the paperwork and engineering and most of the right of way has been purchased and ready to go as soon as the funding is available. This will come about in 2013. If the funding is not available for whatever reason, KDOT will not change their plans and build it south of the river at least for another 10 years and most likely 20 years. No matter how many people complain on this blog about going south of the river there just isn't anyone at KDOT currently that wants to start all over and go thru this process again - besides, half of the wetland restoration is nearly completed now. None of it would be needed if the road is moved south of the river.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

That's a long-winded way of saying that all of those who want the road want what they want, and couldn't care less about any other considerations, so no option but paving over the Haskell Wetlands gets considered.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 1 month ago

Which is no different from your "anything but the 'haskell wetlands'. I want what I want and I couldn't care less about anyone else" approach. How is your position intellectually superior? Hint: it's not, it's just cloaked in the sanctimony of faux progressive nonsense.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"How is your position intellectually superior?"

It's not an "intellectual" position. It's about fundamental fairness, an idea I know is foreign to your ideology.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 1 month ago

Fundamental fairness to whom? Your position and the vocal minority of faux-progressives that claim to represent the proles? Fundamental fairness to the Native-American that you - as a racist - claim to support and represent? Fundamental fairness to a man-made wetland? It certainly isn't fundamental fairness to the economic needs of the community as you've demonstrated time and again that you will happily sacrifice that for your agenda.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"Fundamental fairness to whom? "

That you even need to ask that question shows that you really couldn't care less. As a matter of fact, it shows that it goes beyond apathy, to outright spite.

The uppity Injunz ain't toeing the line as you and your ilk expect it, so they are to be crushed (or paved over, in this instance,) just to make an example to everyone else that they should shut up and sit at back of the bus and let the purveyors of "progress" run the show.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"Fundamental fairness to whom? "

That you even need to ask that question shows that you really couldn't care less. As a matter of fact, it shows that it goes beyond apathy, to outright spite.

The uppity Injunz ain't toeing the line as you and your ilk expect it, so they are to be crushed (or paved over, in this instance,) just to make an example to everyone else that they should shut up and sit at back of the bus and let the purveyors of "progress" run the show.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

Jees Bozo - I didn't mean to make your head hurt by forcing you to read my long-winded diatribe! After all these years of your rants we finally find out that you actually thought you were having an impact. Did you think someone from KDOT was monitoring these blogs for relevant information? The time for input about "What you want" was in 2002 for the Corps EIS and in 2008 for the FHWA 4(f) study. Surely even you were aware of that?!? But then again, you really don't have a clue if you think the paving is going to happen on Haskell Wetlands. The property where the road is going has belonged to Baker University since 1968 I believe. In reality Haskell NEVER owned it nor managed it! That was all Bureau of Indian Affairs so it is not that "I couldn't care less" its just that all your complaining is too late - the decisions were made and KDOT was simply waiting for the next funding cycle....so as Tucshie told us earlier - GET OVER IT!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

There was never any time for input. They'd made up their minds, just as you have yours. They want pavement, and they don't want Injunz or hippies affecting their preliminary, final and only edict. Clearly you identify with them, so you share that primary motivation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Are you paranoid? Do you really think he's after you to such an extent that he'd go down there looking for you?

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 1 month ago

IdahoWinds has breathed actual reality, facts, and analysis into this discussion which typically melts down with all the misinformation of Bozo and others.

Kudos to him/her.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh, come on. He's merely a verbose version of a rubberstamp.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

Bozo - you say "rubberstamp", Boston says "breather of reality, facts, analysis". So my first question is - did you state your opinion when the opportunity was relevant (at the Corps public hearing or at the FHWA hearing)? It sounds, more and more, that you just don't like reality (let alone facts). It must be unfortunate for those around you that have to put up with your constant whining about how the system is unfair and destined to benefit the elite businessman and screw over the downtrodden hippie. It sounds like you had better talk to tucshie about trying some of his mellowing drugs. And yes, I have made up my mind. Why wouldn't I? The Corps, KDOT, FHWA, KDW&P, DWR, ACHP, SHPO, Douglas Co., City of Lawrence - all of them have...years ago. It is amazing you hold a grudge for so long for a project that is actually going to make the Baker Wetlands and adjacent Haskell Wetlands better for the animals as well as visitors, not too mention people that are trying to get from one side of Lawrence to the other. You REALLY need to eat some of those "Get over it cookies"!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

There's much about reality I don't like, including the fact that when it comes to paving over the Haskell Wetlands, the decision is made by the pavers, for the pavers, cheered on by those whose only concern is 5 minutes of convenience for themselves. And even though these wetlands were transferred (in violation of the rules over such transfers) to Baker for so-called "educational purposes," they're more than happy to be bribed to the tune of more than $8 million.

"a project that is actually going to make the Baker Wetlands and adjacent Haskell Wetlands better for the animals as well as visitors,"

What a load of crap. There is no way that running 10 lanes of traffic through there is going to do anything to make it "better."

Let me simplify your rant down to its essence-- "I want my highway, and screw Haskell because the precedent of regularly screwing Indians (and any hippies that might support them) must be upheld."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

BTW, yes, I was at the meetings, but they were a sham. The decision was made long before the meetings were scheduled or held.

lounger 4 years, 1 month ago

Do not build this road. Leave the wetlands alone.....

ferrislives 4 years, 1 month ago

When they finally do build the SLT, I think that there should be a parade! What a great day it will be!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Yea, and be sure to include a float depicting the US Cavalry slaughtering an Indian village. It'd be quite appropriate.

ferrislives 4 years, 1 month ago

I was thinking more in line with gigantic frogs and beavers, but your idea sounds fine as well. Oh wait, the US Cavalry never slaughtered any Indian village at the wetlands, so that makes no sense. Maybe a float of a huge empty field with cars parked in it would make more sense, since that's what it was before it was transformed to the wetlands in recent history.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

That is certainly the viewpoint held by all the drive-by bigots that post here.

ferrislives 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm not a bigot. I'm a reasonably minded citizen that has been hearing about this issue since I was in grade school. The state is currently working to meet the requirements stated by the old lawsuit's settlement, and once that is done, it will be built. That's because you and yours will no longer have a real argument, because they did everything that was asked of them (e.g. building and establishing a new wetlands among other things).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

The wetlands restoration they are doing is a fine thing, but it doesn't do anything to mitigate against the destruction of the Haskell Wetlands. Not that you care. All you want is your 5 minutes of convenience, and/or to put uppity Injuns and environmentalists in their proper place (out of sight and out of mind.)

ferrislives 4 years, 1 month ago

It's the Baker Wetlands first of all, and building the SLT is progress that's long overdue. Get used to it, or move out to Western Kansas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

It's a friggin highway. While your five minutes of convenience may be progress to you, it's a punch in the gut to Haskell, but you don't care, do you? You actually enjoy it.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

Bozo - Ferrislives has spoken with non-forked tongue. I am impressed, however, that Bozo has shown restraint in waiting two whole days before he started throwing around his racist rants and slurs against everyone that disagrees with him. That is certainly an easy argument and of course about is easy to argue against as the claims that 500 indian children have been buried in the Baker Wetlands, or was it the Haskell Wetlands...I forget now. Bozo has me so confused and frustrated! I can't tell which wetland he's actually talking about.
If Baker had received the property illegally then why didn't someone sue to get it returned to Dept of Interior? You guys had 30 year to sue/ appeal, whatever. Now the statute of limitations is up and just like the comment period for the trafficway - your time is up so GET OVER IT. Move onto something you can actually have some impact with. How about start raising money for scholarships at HINU? Since they don't have to pay tuition all you would have to give them scholarships for is a few books and beer money. And think of all the benefit you would bring!!? Go for it! Oh yeah - and talk about a bunch of crap - you berate Baker for selling out for $8 mill. What are you more concerned about? That Baker sold out or that they only got $8 mill? At one time HINU was offered $10 mill and they did not have the wisdom to accept. If they had accepted think how much different the outcome would have been and how different the blogs would be. I'm sure Bozo could still find something to complain about!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"If Baker had received the property illegally then why didn't someone sue to get it returned to Dept of Interior?"

Haskell was run by anybody but Indians until long after the property had been turned over to Baker. It wasn't fought because the attitude in the white-run BIA/Dept. of the Interior was the same as here in Lawrence-- the Haskell campus was there to be cherry-picked by the local great white fathers for whatever purpose they wanted. Why would they fight to get it back when they had just given it away. Your claim is just as disingenuous as all your other arguments.

Haskell wants their property back for reasons of culture that obviously don't resonate with you because you clearly disrespect anything other than the pave-it-over culture to which you adhere.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"At one time HINU was offered $10 mill"

Yea, and they decided the Haskell Wetlands weren't for sale. But that doesn't stop thieves like you, does it?

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 1 month ago

Why do you hate the proles and the American-Indian?

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

What I find most consistent about Bozo is calling anyone who disagrees with him unreasonable, sell-outs, disingenuous, not to mention bigots and racists. Obviously I can't begin to understand Bozo's side of the argument since I have such a closed mind. What does come to my feeble, inferior mind is the thought that we still live in a democracy as is being demonstrated today - we vote, we decide - whether based on rationale thought processes or because we do or don't like someone's smile and the shape of their teeth. As I have pointed out multiple times - the current preferred alignment of the SLT was debated in 2002 and again in 2007 & 8. The decision was made through this process that the road would be built on 32nd St. If government agencies made their decisions based upon who was the minority it wouldn't be much of a democracy would it? This blog may or may not be typical but there are currently 9 opponents to the road that have blogged 46 times and 24 proponents to completing K-10 on 32nd st that have blogged 51 times (and 4 others that apparently were neutral). Now either way you count that it appears than the opponents have 24% of the opinion, proponents have 65% of the opinion and independents have 11% of the opinion. It appears in our democracy that the proponents win?!?! Now IF, as you keep trying to claim - the road was actually proposed to be built on the Haskell Wetlands (giving you the benefit of doubt that that actually meant HINU owned it) then the issue of minorities would actually count and that is why the last lawsuit won - it was proposed to be built on 31st st - the easement being from BIA. That is exactly why the road is going to be built on the Baker Wetlands - because Baker University actually legally owns it whether you want to acknowledge it or not. At this point I really don't care whether you get over it - but I would recommend that you try to come up with some rational argument that actually matters to more than your 24% (LESS than 1/4 of the people blogging!).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Your point apparently being that if the majority of voters approve of screwing Haskell that somehow it's magically transformed into something it's not.

But nice try.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

OK - I get YOUR point. No matter how you look at this it is about screwing Haskell. But isn't that a very narrow view? Just how does it screw Haskell anyway. Haskell does not own the land where the road is to be built and they never have owned the land. So I guess what you're saying is that land ownership nor majority rules anymore because Bozo knows all, sees all? The Baker Wetlands are sacred only because they are wetlands, I get that - even I believe wetlands are special places - but I would not go so far as to say they are "sacred". So if they are sacred then another 300 acres of restored wetlands (remember that the Baker Wetlands are restored) should make them salivate.

kcwarpony 4 years, 1 month ago

The 32nd street route for the SLT would put it right through land that has historical, cultural, and religious importance to us Indians. Our history at Haskell and our survival of the government’s assimilation policy is what makes it sacred. All we want is to preserve it for our future generations.

Build the SLT south of the river.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

KCWarpony - I appreciate your comments. So, based on your comments we can state that the issue here is not about the environment, it never was - it has always been about the perceived screwing of the injuns (as Bozo always refers to you as). The EIS has always focused on the environmental issues so the mitigation package was all that was needed. The 4(f) study conducted by FHWA was more to the point forHaskell. What about the historical, cultural, and religious importance of the property in question which is now owned by Baker University? Both the State Historical Society and the Advisory Council on Historical Preservation concluded that the Baker Wetlands qualified as a historical site - The Old Haskell Farm. To make the case that it is of cultural and/or religious significance there had to be evidence that it was a "tribal site" not just a site of religious significance to a scattering of students over the years/decades. So - this was not about screwing Haskell or any American Indians affiliated with "them" it was about the opponents not being able to make their case that it is of significance to a tribe. 90% of the Baker Wetlands will still be intact and accessible and a noise wall will mask the disturbance - I'm sure that would be considered misplaced optimism by you opponents ....but "get over it" does seem to float to the top again.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"So - this was not about screwing Haskell or any American Indians affiliated with "them" it was about the opponents not being able to make their case that it is of significance to a tribe."

Haskell has never been associated with a single tribe. But that doesn't mean that it isn't culturally significant to many if not all of the tribes who were at first forced to use Haskell, and in more recent times, those who have tried to turn it into a viable institution of higher education. Not that you care.

kcwarpony 4 years, 1 month ago

I would ask you not to put words in my mouth. I said nothing about the environmental issues, one way or the other.

When the Army Corp of Engineers had to seek input from 573 tribes on the road project they only asked the tribes about whether Haskell and the wetlands should be designated as a historic district. The Corp did not make the overall project the focus of the survey, such as which particular route it could/would take. That makes the comments from the tribes incomplete and subject to misinterpretation. Thirty-two tribes supported listing Haskell and the wetlands as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, they just weren’t asked WHY. Thirty-five tribes said they were concerned about unmarked Indian graves in the wetlands and that was the only reason KDOT and FHWA considered a “spiritual issue”, as if graves would be the only reason why we would find the land to be of religious importance. There are many aspects to our spirituality and KDOT and FHWA did a pick and choose on what they wanted to be relevant not everything that is relevant. Their findings are incomplete and wrong.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 1 month ago

This sounds like a convincing story but how do you separate fact from fiction, myth from reality, truth from an opportunity for American Indians to "get even" for other injustices. There have been opponents over the years that have conjured up purely fictional stories with an element of truth and passed them off as truth and reality. They have, unfortunately, created distrust for others. I think much of this story has been influenced by those on both sides looking for their 15 minutes of fame rather than a true harmonious out-come. The main thing that I have difficulty with is that the roadway design will, in fact, have a minimal footprint of 56 acres and will impact less than 10% of the current Baker Wetlands with many other compensations for that loss. I do not see that the area will be diminished by this road. That is primarily due to my optimistic attitude. The area does not resemble what it was in 1900 or 1920 or 1934 or 1968 when Baker received it. It has a long history of change. How will this change be any different? It is not going to destroy the Baker Wetlands as many have claimed.

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