From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 18, 1986:
The city's public works director released a preliminary report outlining a plan to improve Wakarusa Drive, then described as a gravel road bordering Lawrence's western edge. The cost of improving the road, formerly known as Dragstrip Road, to a 36-foot-wide, two-lane paved road, and ultimately to a major four-lane artery, was estimated at more than $3 1/2 million. Developers of large tracts in western Lawrence such as the University Corporate and Research Park had requested that the city widen and pave the road. Developers Bob Billings, Bob Stephens, and Johnny Ezell, who owned land adjacent to the road, were also asking the city to waive the requirement that developers pay up front 25 percent of the estimated engineering and construction costs. They based this request on the fact that the road would be an arterial serving the entire city.