Highway costs

To the editor:

In less than two weeks, Douglas County will close 31st Street between Louisiana and Haskell Avenue. They’ll spend nearly $400,000 repaving the same section of road Kansas officials express overwhelming confidence will be removed as soon as the appeals court rules favorably on their SLT “32nd Street Plan.” That money would fill a lot of potholes.

The approved SLT plan requires moving 31st (widened to four lanes) beside the trafficway. It’ll be separated from the SLT by a $1 million concrete wall 12 feet high. There’ll be jobs created (for three weeks) from this thrifty investment of your taxes and still more employment excavating those freshly paved shoulders. Brilliant fiscal conservatism!

The SLT itself is being designed to eventually accommodate six lanes. It would complete a six-lane thoroughfare from Topeka to Johnson County. Lawrence is already six lanes to Topeka. Widening Highway 10 from Johnson County to Lawrence is in advanced design phase. That 10-lane wetland wrecker will eventually cost substantially more than $192 million, but who’s counting — or paying attention?

This and the nearly finished freeway to Ottawa, must be reassuring news for SRS recipients. They’ll soon be able to access the three nearest SRS offices in Overland Park, Ottawa and Topeka on these truckways. With such “improvements” perhaps speed limits can be “safely” raised to 90 mph. Thanks to Brownback’s and KDOT’s forward thinking, these needy Kansans could soon make SRS appointments nearly as fast as when that agency was still located in town — if hitchhiking is legalized.