Advertisement

Archive for Friday, June 3, 2011

KDOT commits $192 million to complete South Lawrence Trafficway

Entire SLT might be a toll road, if feasible

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announced $192 million in funding to complete the South Lawrence Trafficway at a Kansas City, Kan. event on June 3, 2011.

June 3, 2011, 11:02 a.m. Updated June 3, 2011, 5:33 p.m.

Advertisement

Past stories on the South Lawrence Trafficway

Read past stories on South Lawrence Trafficway.

Reader poll
Would you pay a $1 toll to drive the full length of the South Lawrence Trafficway?

or See the results without voting

Other projects

Several Kansas City-area projects also were announced by the Kansas Department of Transportation on Friday. Among those that may affect Douglas County commuters are:

  • I-70 and K-7 interchange in Wyandotte County: $68 million to improve pavement conditions and reduce congestion.
  • The area where I-435, I-35, K-10 and Lackman Road converge: $263 million to improve traffic ramps, add auxiliary lanes and new flyovers to connect I-435 and I-35.
  • I-35 interchange between Edgerton and Gardner: $26 million in improvements to help handle additional truck traffic expected as part of Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s proposed intermodal transportation hub.

The South Lawrence Trafficway now has a checkbook.

Gov. Sam Brownback announced Friday morning that the state’s already-approved comprehensive transportation plan will include $192 million to complete the final leg of the trafficway, which will connect Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence to Interstate 70 west of the city.

Now all that stands in the way of completing the long-debated bypass — perhaps by the end of 2015 — is a final legal victory in federal court regarding whether the road can run through the Baker Wetlands.

At an announcement event in Kansas City, Kan., Brownback expressed confidence that the state would overcome that hurdle.

“We are going to finish the South Lawrence Trafficway,” Brownback said to a loud round of applause from a crowd that included several city, chamber and Lawrence community leaders. “It will get done. We are going to do this.”

A possible toll road

The funding will be enough to build a four-lane freeway from the eastern edge of Lawrence at the Kansas Highway 10 and Noria Road intersection to U.S. Highway 59 in southern Lawrence, where the western portion of the bypass now dead-ends.

That route would follow longtime plans to build the road along a 32nd Street alignment that would go through the Baker Wetlands between Louisiana Street and Haskell Avenue.

State officials, however, did throw a new twist into the project — which has been debated and legally challenged for more than two decades: KDOT leaders said they will study the feasibility of making the entire trafficway a toll road.

KDOT Secretary Deb Miller said the study will focus on ways to allow local traffic to use the SLT without paying a toll while charging motorists who use the road as a bypass. She said, however, that any toll likely would be less than a dollar in order to encourage drive-through traffic to avoid 23rd Street.

Miller said the toll study will be completed in the next two years, which is also how long it likely will take to complete the roadway’s final design.

Business boom

Lawrence city officials said they would take a wait-and-see approach on the toll issue. On Friday, they were thrilled that the project was moving closer to completion.

“It is going to make travel a lot more convenient in Lawrence and a lot safer,” said City Commissioner Bob Schumm.

But what the project could do to boost business activity in Lawrence was creating a major buzz at the announcement ceremony, which was held on the grounds of the Kansas Speedway in western Wyandotte County.

“These are huge numbers that we’re talking about here,” City Commissioner Mike Amyx said.

The state is estimating the $192 million project will produce $3.7 billion worth of economic impact to the region in the coming years. The SLT was estimated to have the highest economic impact of any project selected for funding in the state’s transportation program.

Brownback said the project will create an economic boon in the life sciences industry and other arenas because it will better connect Kansas University and its research capabilities with Johnson County and the Kansas City metro area.

“This will have an enormous impact,” Brownback said. “It will make Lawrence more a part of Kansas City, and that will be good on a couple of accounts.”

Tom Kern, president of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, said that once the project is completed, Lawrence’s East Hills Business Park and an industrial park that is being developed at the former Farmland Industries site will become more valuable. He said there have been at least three businesses in the last three years that have cited east-west traffic flow problems as a major reason for going elsewhere.

“That’s several hundred jobs right there,” said Kern, who said the companies included an engineering firm, a manufacturer and a wind energy company. “There has been nothing bigger in terms of an economic development announcement for Lawrence and Douglas County for a long time. This project is probably the most significant announcement in a decade.”

Legal challenge

State leaders, however, acknowledged they are taking a risk by starting the project. Environmentalists and Native American groups have filed a federal lawsuit alleging the project’s route through the wetlands had not gone through the proper review process. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil ruled in November that the project had gone through the necessary federal review, but her decision is now on appeal.

Miller, the state’s transportation secretary, said her department will start spending money on completing the design of the project prior to the court issue being resolved. She estimated the court case could take another 18 months, and she wants the project to be ready to start construction in about 24 months.

“We’re clearly taking a calculated risk as it relates to whether we could lose the lawsuit,” Miller said. “But we’re reasonably confident that won’t happen. We believe it is a risk worth taking.”

Lawrence resident and Topeka attorney Bob Eye — who represents the plaintiffs in the lawsuit — said it was irresponsible to spend state dollars that would be forever lost if the court rules the project can’t be built. An estimate of how much the state will spend prior to the lawsuit being completed wasn’t immediately available Friday. But Eye said the state’s decision did not surprise him.

“When it comes to the South Lawrence Trafficway and the eagerness of federal and state officials to pave over wetlands, nothing surprises me,” Eye said. “They have a zeal for destroying wetlands that is extraordinary.”

State leaders deny that claim. They said the project will include $10 million in wetland mitigation efforts, and will include a new visitors center for the wetlands and improvements that will make the area more accessible to the public. The SLT project will take about 56 acres of the wetlands. About 380 acres of manmade wetlands will be constructed adjacent to the site.

Comments

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

I will hand it to you Tuschie, You have done a pretty good job of protecting democratic turf and putting the blame squarely on the...what are they now publican, dumblican, tealicans, whatever...you sound just like your heroine SARAH! The problem that you have with your theory is that I am not benefiting from this money so why would I be in bed with anyone over this. You, I'm sure, in your extremely paranoid, cynical mind are convinced that everything wrong in this world is about money.
The 404 permit is only concerned about how to minimize wetland loss or adequately mitigate for that loss. Since you could care less about the wetlands as an ecosystem, the 404 permit is irrelevant to you. The 4f study by FHWA and the determination about Tribal Cultural Property dealt with what tribes would be impacted by this road. Not a single tribe stepped forward to say that the "Old Haskell Farm" (now the Baker Wetlands) was of significance to their tribe in any meaningful way. All of the incidences and issues relating to boarding school students in the past were related to individuals rather than tribes and therefore the 4f study was approved with flying colors and the Tribal Cultural Property request was denied. You people failed to meet the test. You knew what the rules were so no matter how much mumbling and grumbling you do, there isn't a do over. You can't reapply under different guidelines. You failed. It has nothing to do with your fabrication of American Indian history. It all has to deal with the inability to present your case in a coherent manner. You can explain it away anyway you want but it doesn't change the outcome. As I said earlier, when the project is complete no one will be the wiser as the entire wetlands will be be robust, more diverse, more functional, more accessible, and more inviting. All of us will have moved on in our productive lives and you will be left sitting in the ditch somewhere wondering what happened, or perhaps just fabricating a story about how you got screwed again. Unless, of course, you want to embrace part of the present and try to find something good in the present day world.

0

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

parkinson was a demlican who denounced Kathleen Sebelius and then joined her and succeeded her. Parkinson was about as much a democrat as you and mr boyd are above board and not available to the highest bidder...err KDOT . maybe the tealicans should repeal the sales tax. it would be the only good things these puppets of the GOP and KOCH Brothers have done. By the way how does it feel to be in bed with Brownback and his Koch Brothers trucking money? no morals eh.... sleep well....

0

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

The SLT affects more than Haskell. The path of the southern stretch of the SLT is socioeconomic. If those neighborhoods south of 23rd Street had million dollar houses, the plan for the SLT would have been very different. At any rate, I do not like to hear or read the bullying and ridicule based on attitude rather than information associated with this topic. The comments here are not new, but they are disappointing. The southern leg of the SLT should be called Spite Road.

0

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

these people always do things to politically strike at those who oppose them. this has been the season of gop directness whether it be union attacks, school attacks, art attacks excedera. they don't really have a viable platform except for the same bs that the dummies in this state always hear the pied piper about (abortion, vouchers, taxes, xenophobia, guns). I will call bs as much as possible on their agendas. this slt thing is a perfect example of how they ignore thoughtful and rational behavior. how out of one side of their mouths talk of budget shortfalls and yet talk out of the other side about road projects and screw teachers and the arts simutaneously? only in kansas the land of duh....

0

Ralph Reed 2 years, 10 months ago

Brownstripe moment.

A couple of questions.

Why didn't Brownback have the cojones to announce the $192 mil closer to those who would be affected most directly? Did the Kochs or "The Family" tell him not to do that?

If he "found" $192 mil to continue to drag this out, why couldn't he "find" a paltry $600,000 for the Kansas Arts commission? Maybe this was more direction he received.

0

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

I drive for a living in Lawrence and have done so for over a decade. I never use the completed SLT and in light of lawless speeders and flying objects, I wouldn't use it now.

0

gorilla10 2 years, 10 months ago

I love listening to everyones lame comments in here!!!!! This is going to be built and it NEEDS to be built.......Who cares if it's a toll road or not. It will be awesome regardless!!! Can't wait until it's finished so I dont have to listen to all of you people cry about it while all of you will use it!!!!!!!!!!

0

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

idahowinds, since you are a purchased academic with no morals except the worship of money I will put it as plainly as possible. you are a sellout. sellouts ignore the facts to get their money. they align themselves with the people whom they consider to be on a winning side and in the end the indigenous peoples, their histories, the animals, and the land, all suffer from the people who put dollars ahead of common sense. I once had a racist grandfather who like you would say, "Oh it's just history". He didn't want acknowledge slavery as a southerner just as you don't want to acknowledge the sins of protestant denominations in the subjugation of indigenous peoples and the theft of their lands as the Baptists, Methodists, Moravians, Presbyterians, and Catholics did their mission work and took their lands as the reservations were diminished or the tribes were removed to Indian Territory in the 19th century. Baker is Methodist, I should know, I attended the school and a number of my relatives either attended or graduated from the school. Why has Baker had reconcilation ceremonies with the Kansas Wyandotte and Oklahoma Shawnee peoples which I attended in the past and did such pointless gestures as plant trees? One would think history and a guilty conscience would led them to do the right thing and return the wetlands. There is a statue of Alice Ann Callahan in front of the Baker Library. Mrs. Callahan was a revered art history teacher at Baker and she was also Osage Indian. In her book on her tribe's In' Lon' Ska dance published by OU, she spoke of the cultural damage Protestant boarding schools did to tribal religion and beliefs. The damage she spoke of was blunted when Haskell students escaped to places like the wetlands to practice their tribal religious beliefs. Students at Chilocco ventured to the edge of that campus to maintain their culture in the face of oppressive christianity. As a Choctaw/Biloxi descendant I stomp dance, which is pre christian contact practice that survived the wrath of missionaries who called this dance pagan like. The wetlands are sacred but the nahollos and their courts and their corps of engineers and their anthropologists will always find a way to deny and push the theft of land as progress. You haven't evolved from the 19th century have you?

0

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

Children also increase our tax liabilities and they tend to make people think they need newer and bigger houses/townhouses/duplexes/apartments. Could we work on some legislation to outlaw kids. It should lower our taxes, you know.

I'm taking a wild guess here, Richard: the real estate industry is your whipping boy?

Whip away, we are all getting a good chuckle out of it.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

The local real estate industry believes taxpayer dollars grow on trees. WRONG AGAIN!

The local real estate industry believes taxpayers do not give a damn about their money! Wrong again!

More roads = more streets = more cars = more people = more tax increases.

Developers consistently increase our tax liabilities. Why do they control city hall?

0

BigRedW 2 years, 10 months ago

Build the road. Opponents to the trafficway you have lost. Stop complaining and making your own truths. Go give Bobby Eye and hug and move on to something you might have a chance at changing.

0

Stain 2 years, 10 months ago

How much revenue from travelers is Lawrence going to lose because of this trafficway?

How many businesses on 23rd, or downtown, are visited by people passing through?

P.S. I will never travel on this trafficway.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Grab your wallets!

This news will likely get some commissioners itchin to add another $100 million project to our tax bill. It's known as the $100 million dollar sewage treatment plant AGAIN for the real estate industry.

Then more tax dollar spending by way of New Housing Projects - If residential growth paid for itself we might not be in a budget crunch. Increased numbers of residential create increased demand on services. Historically revenues generated by residential housing do not pay for the services they require from a municipality thus increased taxes.

Grab your wallets again! Think of all the services new neighborhoods want: fire stations,schools,parks,water and sewer lines etc etc etc.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Developers and cars are very expensive budget items. They in turn buy very expensive commissioners who support very expensive requests put forth by developers. Now we have tons of new development which is not paying back the community aka no economic growth. Something went wrong.

Higher taxes and user fees are financing the new wealth for the real estate industry. This is not economic growth. This is you and me paying for what should be paying for itself

What do new roads bring with them? Development…..seldom long time relief from traffic congestion. New development brings new and more traffic congestion

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Face it folks the real estate industry built their high tax dollar bedroom community on the wrong side of town. Then they went fishing for a $200,000,000 - $300,000,000 million dollar tax dollar moochin bail out plan.

The bail plan turned out to be another wrong decision. It merely compounds the high cost of living in Douglas County problem.

A pork barrel spending bail out plan because back door politics could not leave well enough alone.

0

Jimo 2 years, 10 months ago

"The state is estimating the $192 million project will produce $3.7 billion worth of economic impact to the region in the coming years."

Now what sort of talk is that? Government spending doesn't "stimulate" the economy! That's just socialist talk. Next you'll be telling us that $192M spending on education leads to $100B in economic impact and so we should just spend the money on the kids.

0

bobberboy 2 years, 10 months ago

I thought the State was short on money - here browncracked desides to spend $192,000,000.00 to bypass Lawrence. Go figure.

0

hitme 2 years, 10 months ago

We should preserve the Baker wetlands as they are now...the way the La Brea Tar Pits preserved nature 10,000 years ago. I'll gladly buy a couple of yard of concrete or asphalt for this effort.

0

ItWasFarmGround 2 years, 10 months ago

Gee, you're right. Why would we need corn and other crops when we have all of these neat animals to look at!

0

Dan Eyler 2 years, 10 months ago

Thank you Governor! Leadership is something we have missed for a long time in Lawrence and Kansas. Keep up the work of balancing our economy and the conservation efforts of our state. In the first week I moved to Lawrence in 1992 I realized the need for this road to be finished. Thank goodness it is going to get done. However to all of the people who see no value to the baker wetlands and your stupid ignorant comments shut up. Your as ignorant as the so called environmentalists. Man made or not the wetlands are something we should be proud of. The wetlands are a treasure to Lawrence and Douglas county. I really get no closer to the wetlands than driving south on Haskel or west on 31st. But each time I enjoy the sights of turtles, dear, beaver, ducks, snakes, and other critters along the way. Kansans have always been conservationists. We shouldn't be confused with environmentalists. When this road is complete Lawrence will have such an opportunity to expand on the economic value of both the new road and the Baker Wetlands. When this project is done both the wetlands supporters and the road supporters will have the best of both worlds.

0

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't need to return to the dummy orbit. you sure are educated.

0

3up3down 2 years, 10 months ago

Wetland, my rear end. It is a reclaimed wetlands, not a natural one. That land was farmed for years. Drivers are killing kritters on 31st Street at the present. Why don't they environmentalist petition to have that road torn up? Jeeez, build the road. Move on.

0

John Yocum 2 years, 10 months ago

"They have a zeal for destroying wetlands that is extraordinary.” Cheyenne Bottoms seems to be doing OK. What the heck are you talking about? I don't think the goal of this road is to destroy the wetlands. The goal is help the traffic flow in this poorly designed city. The street I live on is used for constant cross-cutting from Iowa to close to Mass so people can miss 23rd as much as they can. It's hard to even back out of the driveway. We need to ease 23rd flow. The comment made about KU students being the problem is bogus, too. We've been here long enough to know that the traffic flow used to almost die AFTER the students left for the summer. That is now not the case because of the building out west. WE NEED TO COMPLETE THIS AND BUILD SOME MAN-MADE WETLANDS SOMEWHERE ELSE.

0

ItWasFarmGround 2 years, 10 months ago

Does anyone else question why we continue to convert prime farmland to "wetlands" only to become an obstacle for constructing projects? I'm tired of Mosquitoes and Cattails! These so-called wetlands already look like trash. What a statement for our city as passersby see this junk. Leave wetlands where they belong and quit creating them in areas where they don't belong.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

"Do you seriously believe that KDOT would change their plan at this point and waste another 20 years on Lawrence?"

Explain how the most prudent plan would take another 20 years?

Blame the real estate industry and back door politics for the 20 year boondoggle. The original south of the river plan would have be done long long long ago. This discussion would not be taking place.

I'd say the real estate industry built the high tax dollar bedroom community on the wrong side of town. Who made those reckless decisions?

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

The SLT route is pork barrel spending plain and simple.

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 of the most prudent design that has long term impact 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 to 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. ELIMINATES tons of traffic.

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.

Saving REAL BIG tax dollars is a new concept. Pork barrel projects = wasted and inefficient use of tax dollars.

0

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

Merrill, over the years you have repeated this same rant over and over. Believe it or not, your ideas were looked at and thrown out years ago....at least back in the 90's. You are not coming up with anything new or constructive. You need to get over it, take a deep breath and move on to something where you might actually have a positive impact. Do you seriously believe that KDOT would change their plan at this point and waste another 20 years on Lawrence? I think not. The SLT will be completed this time on the 32nd st alignment and everything will work out better than you naysayers believe. Then in 10 years we can have a laugh about the rants of Merrill, Tuschie, Bozo, Mike Caron, Quivira Trails, gccs14r, JackRipper and a bunch of others who did move on with their lives.

0

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

Tuschie-Wushie, I have no dumb reply for you because your post, once again, is a meaningless rant and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with completing the SLT or how good or bad the mitigation plan will mitigate the 56 acres of destroyed wetlands and the gain of 380+ acres of restored habitat. When and if you come back within the orbit of everyone else, perhaps then there will be something to respond to.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

There was another route studied that has not been offered to the taxpayers which would avoid the wetlands completely.

This route would follow 46th(I believe) and could be built into the county road 1057 existing K-10 interchange. This could save a few million and would NOT dump so much traffic in an already congested area near 1750 rd. This area will become a high tax dollar traffic nightmare is my speculation.

Why was this choice not made public?

Another choice were the "K-10 Connectors" that was not given the time of day. Why? This plan may well be the least expensive....who knows?

As I see it the 20 year old SLT plan is obsolete!

  1. is too expensive – IS NOT the best bang for the tax buck

  2. is not the best choice

  3. dumps too much traffic in an already congested area

  4. destroys valuable flood control aka wetlands which saves taxpayers bundles of money. Taxpayers grab your wallets! And buy flood insurance for sure.

  5. destroys valuable wildlife habitat

  6. destroys an environmentally sensitive area

  7. destroys a spiritually sensitive area

  8. is not the original south of the river choice

  9. does not have the long term impact that the original choice provides

  10. Will not provide 23rd street relief that many think it will. A known fact.

0

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

Well, Merrill - we could argue that from both sides ad nauseum. Who actually cost us more money? Those that kept pursuing the plan or those who kept stalling it? Kind of a chick or the egg kind of argument. Except that when it is actually built, then the added cost lands on those of you who opposed it. If it does not get built, then it will be on the people who pursued it all this time. Then it is just plain politics.

0

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

kawryan - nice response, right on target and totally accurate. At less than $1/trip how do you spend $25 a week to and from soccer....I assume you mean at YSI? You need to get a grip on your driving habits!!!! Not to mention your reading skills - Unless you are driving from Lecompton you won't pay a dime.

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Too bad the real estate development industry had to make any progress difficult. They refused to accept the original south of the river plan. Then played back door politics to create this boondoggle.

See that bridge to nowhere on south Iowa? That is a result of county and state officials moving forward before the courts rendered a decision. The courts said no way jose'. Oops reckless decision = reckless spending of tax dollars.

0

kawryan 2 years, 10 months ago

So, now we have to pay $25 bucks a week to get the kids to soccer games and practices AND loose the wetlands? Just great....

0

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

history lessons mean nothing to manipulative charlatans bent on creating their version of manifest destiny. dummies who ignore history are destined to repeat it and often do so with blissful ignorance. blissful ignorance and arrogance seem to flaunt the desire to ignore the rule of law and settle behind the might of bully rule and ignorance and dismiss history that points the finger at the deniers. why do none of the immigrants have no concept of history before 1854 or 1776? why do I know about the Pawnee, Kaw, Osage, and Shawnee peoples whose lands the snakes covet and yet the snakes know nothing and dismiss the history that firmly assails their greed and lawlessness as they deny the religious values of those whose lands they now have stolen and inhabited? waiting for dumb reply....idahowinds where art thou?

0

scott3460 2 years, 10 months ago

"“It will make Lawrence more a part of Kansas City, and that will be good on a couple of accounts.”

No, it will not be good on any account.

And Lawrence slips a little closer to its ruin.

0

sad_lawrencian 2 years, 10 months ago

Time to get the highway done. Just git 'er done!

0

Scruggsy 2 years, 10 months ago

Deja vu all over again... I feel like I've read this thread before?

Build the SOB. 130% of the existing wetlands have been built to replace them. Less congestion = less emissions.

But, Brownback had nothing to do w/ this transportation plan. It was drawn up years ago, only the funding has been released now. So he is still a hypocrite for taking any credit for it now.

0

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

Tuschie - thanks for our history lesson. But exactly how is that really relevant to the fact that the SLT is finally going to be completed through the Baker Wetlands and Dr. Boyd will have the opportunity to restore another 160 acres of farm ground into wetlands? Have you been by the restored wetlands lately so you can continue to deny that anything lives there? See you in court.

0

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

He's not talking about KU, he's referring to the bioscience businesses on Wakarusa and those that will come to East Hills Business Park and the former Farmland site.

0

Stain 2 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Brownback does not share my priorities.

Mr. Family Values must mean "the family" and not my family.

0

JackRipper 2 years, 10 months ago

yes they read a version of the bible that I am not familiar with that encourages screwing those who are weak and disadvantaged, profiting wherever they can bully themselves into short sight opportunities, and squandering the gifts given by God, and trading in the temple. Brownback really takes the cake saying the slt will benefit the research community that supposedly will the bypass to ku? does he ever look at maps?

0

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

furthermore, why doesn't KDOT speak to WADOT about the $43 million wasted when that agency in Washington State ignored the pleas of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe of Puget Sound and proceeded with a bridge pontoon launching project that desecreted over 400 graves and led to the abandonment of the project and the loss of that money. The morons there blamed the tribe even though the officials wouldn't listen to the Klallam people. All of this is documented in the book "Breaking Ground" by Seattle Post Intelligencer Lynda Mapes whom I've spoken to in an effort to combat ignorance nationwide. Do the KDOT people or Sam Brownback read much?

0

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

furthermore, why doesn't KDOT speak to WADOT about the $43 million wasted when that agency in Washington State ignored the pleas of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe of Puget Sound and proceeded with a bridge pontoon launching project that desecreted over 400 graves and led to the abandonment of the project and the loss of that money. The morons there blamed the tribe even though the officials wouldn't listen to the Klallam people. All of this is documented in the book "Breaking Ground" by Seattle Post Intelligencer Lynda Mapes whom I've spoken to in an effort to combat ignorance nationwide. Do the KDOT people or Sam Brownback read much?

0

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

nice to hear the descendants of the immigrant settlers talking. Is this the Lawrence, Leavenworth, and Galveston railroad or the SLT? for the historically deficient immigrants, this railroad ran through east Lawrence to the east of the wetlands, through Vinland, Baldwin City, and Ottawa, and on through Iola to the Oklahoma border in 1869. It is now torn up and abandoned and a bike trail south of Ottawa to Iola. It's building was facilatated by the removal of the Ottawa, Sac and Fox, Peoria, and Osage tribes between 1867 and 1872. It was supposed to be a job creator and freight hauler which is why it was removed between 1966 and 1980.

In this situation, there is a road which now has a price tag many times over the original cost because the real cost was never known anyway due to the gaming of the system by big business and republicans. Even better is the attitude of the christian kansans wanting to build a road through a burial site being lead by the hypocritical apologist Sam "Bryllocreme" Brownback who seems to have forgotten his christian ways and his apology as a US Senator to Native Americans to appease the dumblicans, churchlicans, gunlicans, and racelicans who voted for him. Hooray for stupidity and hooray for land stealing history ignoring dumblicans and progress?

0

Armored_One 2 years, 10 months ago

Considering that Baker University controls the lion's share of this expanse, perhaps the website they maintain should be taken into consideration.

http://www.bakeru.edu/baker-wetlands/faq

Was it at one point a wetlands? Yes, but it also extended much further than the current boundaries. It's extended, at the most conservative estimates, as far into Lawrence as Checker's. I don't hear anyone suggesting that everyone between 23rd and 31st be relocated so the wetlands could be returned to what it actually was. I don't hear anyone demanding that South Jr. High and Broken Arrow be torn down.

The wetlands have been dead for quite some time. Man made the current wetlands. Man can do with it what it wants.

If you are going to demand the preservation of the wetlands, then demand ALL of it be returned to what it was, or back the heck down and shut up about it already. How many of those involved with this 'movement' to 'protect the wetlands' still use plastic trash bags, or heck, take groceries home in plastic bags? How many of you use modern diapers instead of cloth ones?

I'd give my honest opinion about this whole mess, but I was taught not to use that kind of language in mixed company. There is one word I can use, though.

Hypocracy.

0

boxturtle 2 years, 10 months ago

Taxpayers should be really pissed right now, the road makes less sense now than ever and won't help much of anything. What a waste of money we could use in much better ways, like not making the next population of kansas kids some of the dumbest in the nation.

0

bunnyhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Not surprising that the Brownboy would pick pavement over people.

Bypasses are WAY more important than education!!! public arts funding!!! medicaid coverage for mental services!!!

By golly.........anybody who doesn't like it can go in the roadbed, right Brownboy???

0

Keith 2 years, 10 months ago

Toll only for those who use the full length of the bypass? It will take all of 10 seconds to figure out how to save a buck by coming in town one interchange and exiting one interchange early. Hope the folks at those 2 interchanges are ready for the traffic.

0

edjayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Unfortunately most of the comments here are about making cheap shots to those who oppose it rather then actually wanting to build it.

0

rlsd 2 years, 10 months ago

FINALLY!!!!!! We need a fast way around the edge of town. It is ridiculous that it takes almost as long to cross town as it does to get to Topeka or to KC. And I don't remember any "wetlands" from when I was a kid, were they invented?

0

edjayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Racism alive and well on this message board...

0

rlsd 2 years, 10 months ago

FINALLY!!!!!! We need a fast way around the edge of town. It is ridiculous that it takes almost as long to cross town as it does to get to Topeka or to KC.

0

scopi_guy 2 years, 10 months ago

Agnes the Frog has certainly got to be dead by now. Just like the cat on the rope in those "Hang In There Baby!" posters.

0

mr_right_wing 2 years, 10 months ago

Gentlemen, start those bulldozers!!

Critters in the artificially-created 'wetlands' you are on notice; move now, or be buried under slabs of concrete and tar!

o h

(heck)

y e a h ! !

0

newmedia 2 years, 10 months ago

Hope and Change. Lean Forward!

0

Noweigh 2 years, 10 months ago

Congrats...please build it quick. The campaign to stop this goes back to the late 70's....wow, imagine the savings of time, money and grief if somehow it could have been built then. Special thanks to all that unnecessarily stalled this needed project for so long.

0

Scott Morgan 2 years, 10 months ago

The widening of 59 and intermodal park.... HW 59 is gone, no widening but a limited access interstate from I-35 to Lawrence.

yes nativeson it is a real hassle at times to sit in a small city traffic jam with so many easy ways to alleviate the problem.

0

nativeson 2 years, 10 months ago

The SLT has been needed not only for Lawrence, but the 5 surrounding counties for 20 years. The widening of 59 and intermodal park that will eventually get built in Gardner make this connection essential.

The funding from T-Works has nothing to do with the general fund that is the source of funding for schools. This was part of the increase in sales tax designated for a transportation program that will fund projects around the state.

As far as going farther south. 1) It will never happen since the Corp of Engineers and Federal Highway have sanctioned the 32B route. 2) The Transporation 2030 analysis done as a requirement of the local MPO looked at other routes and concluded it would cost more and provide less traffic relief. Crossing the Wakarusa River has its own adverse environmental impacts.

In time, those Lawrence residents that live between Louisiana and Harper on the south side of 23rd street will have relief from being trapped upwards of 4 hours each business day due to commuter traffic never intended for the street.

0

conservative 2 years, 10 months ago

The wetlands are manmade not natural. The project to build the slt includes provisions to dramatically increase the size of the wetlands. Anyone claiming environmental impact issues are simply naysayers who will never be happy.

0

mellowyellow 2 years, 10 months ago

Build the dang road - heck I drive out to 35th street now to avoid 23rd & 31st.

0

Wody 2 years, 10 months ago

I love how everyone on here just blames the people trying to save what little bits of wetland this state has. KDOT should have planned to build on the southern edge of the Wetlands. That would have solved this many years ago! I am all for building this road but they sure as hell did not compromise at all with those of us who actually care about the natural world. Instead of building just slightly to the south they are bulldozing right through the middle of it all!

All of you on here complaining should be ashamed of yourselves for not being educated enough about how important these wetlands are to migrating birds and many other animals. This traffic way will save a grand total of 10 minutes or so! WOW give me a break. I have lived here my whole life and lately things in this town seem to be going down the drain!

0

sallyone 2 years, 10 months ago

About time, however, if there is a toll I won't drive on it. They will then have to build a second and free south south lawrence trafficway. This town needs it, however, it needs to be free.

0

Alyosha 2 years, 10 months ago

All the primary source documents about the latest KDOT announcements, including the SLT work, are available at KDOT's KTOC web site: http://www.ktoc.net

They've got PDF"s of the press release, a complete list of projects including the costs, and maps.

0

BigPrune 2 years, 10 months ago

OMG!!!! What are the kooks gonna do, demand a recall? There's them jobs in that $192 MILLION people!

0

Cindy Yulich 2 years, 10 months ago

The toll is only charged if you use the road in it's entirety. Most Lawrencians would enter or exit without covering the length of the toll road - making the trip free for them.

0

Shane Garrett 2 years, 10 months ago

I think it is Okay, Dokay to build a south Lawrence traffic way and charge a dollar for driving on it. As some one once said."I'll buy that for a dollar"!

0

gorilla10 2 years, 10 months ago

It was just a matter of time!!!! Lets speed up the process. I can't take east lawrence much longer

0

none2 2 years, 10 months ago

It is good to know that the Kansas state treasury is now in the black since they can afford such big expenditures.

0

Scott Morgan 2 years, 10 months ago

riverat and all other folks who think federal and states print endless amounts of money I can understand the logic and simplicity of money in hand, give money, and everything is okey dokey.

Tax revenues in Lawrence are dropping, and other comparable Kansas cities are rising.

Making Lawrence easier to navigate will open up other sources of tax generating businesses. This will lead to jobs, which lead to more revenue. The same concept with Lowes and the Olive Garden situation.

Lawrence just lost a business looking to relocate in part due to the traffic congestion.

Or, maybe we should identify all the rich people in Lawrence and the tax the living bjesus out of them. Then give all this money to the arts and Planned Parenthood. Yea that would do it, they would never think of pulling stakes and leaving.

0

toe 2 years, 10 months ago

All interstate roads should be toll.

0

pinecreek 2 years, 10 months ago

I will be LMAO when they build this and......drumroll.....traffic is exactly the same annoying state of being then as it is today. As has been discussed before, the amount of traffic that originates/transits the KU campus, inside the grid between I-70 and this trafficway, will in NO way be affected by the presence of said trafficway. Complete fools errand.

0

stuckinthemiddle 2 years, 10 months ago

no money for schools...

but plenty of money to save people 10 minutes of driving time...

quit wasting my money on idiots who have planned their lives so poorly that they have to drive down 23rd street in rush hour traffic...

0

Joe Hyde 2 years, 10 months ago

Oh, great. The Brownback administration slashes the amount of per-student support in our state's public schools, they kill state funding for Planned Parenhood clinics, they kill funding for the Kansas Arts Commission...but they can find $192m in taxpayer money to turn Lawrence into Overland Park West.

This top-down spending decision happened because local real estate developers, state bureaucrats and politicians have never shaken off their obsession with having a South Lexus Trafficway. Do any of the original players even remember their bogus arguments about how the Trafficway was going to "reduce congestion on 23rd St."? I doubt they remember, because their scheme had nothing to do with 23rd St. in the first place.

0

gccs14r 2 years, 10 months ago

"Over the last five years, we conducted dozens of public meetings around the state with thousands of Kansans and you told us what was important to you."

I bet if you asked them today they'd tell you to put those dollars back in the classroom. We don't need new roads when we can't pay for teachers.

0

jesse499 2 years, 10 months ago

My way or the highway has been working for the other side on this more then what the most people in town want for ever get it built.

0

Vinny1 2 years, 10 months ago

This thing should have been built long ago. There is funding now, build it asap.

The idiots talking about how it will ruin the wetlands obviously have no idea what they're talking about. Have any of you fools ever been to any of the swamps in the south? Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, etc? There is swamps/wetlands everywhere with roads going right though and guess what....the environment is doing fantastic.

0

areyouserious 2 years, 10 months ago

wetlands..........shmetlands............32nd street please!!! and quick!

0

Orwell 2 years, 10 months ago

Let's see if I get this… We're going to spend $192 million to destroy some wetlands and then get to pay to use the road? I think the relevant quote is "We're from the government and we're here to help you."

Congress appropriated $7.2 million (that's seven million, two hundred thousand) for the whole project in 1987, and an additional 3.3 million in 1991. The local 1990 bond issue proposed to add another 4 mil.

Looks like the delays due to insistence on the wetlands route, and no other, have added costs somewhere north of $170 million and counting. File this under "My way AND the highway."

0

topeka52 2 years, 10 months ago

I travel from Topeka to Overland Park several times a week, build it already! I'll gladly pay a toll!

0

jesse499 2 years, 10 months ago

They could have done it without the toll and a whole lot cheaper 30 years ago when it should have been done but the 192 mil. will be used up in court this time too.

0

worthlessljworldposter 2 years, 10 months ago

I know the "wackos" you refer to are likely the same people who would call YOU "white devil". Also likely: your lifestyle fits the identification.

0

Zachary Stoltenberg 2 years, 10 months ago

How about, you only have to pay the toll if you have a sierra club sticker, save the wetlands bumper sticker, or "tribal" license plate. If not for all the howling frogs this road would have been done 10 years ago and would have cost half as much.

0

matthew2600 2 years, 10 months ago

You've got to pay the troll toll.

0

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 10 months ago

This road should have been finished years ago when the cost was much lower. This is a classic case of allowing a fringe wacko group influance a needed infrastructure with their stupid and pointless challenges and now the final cost has multiplied. If we had some officials with one bit of gravel in their gizzards, this whole thing would have been a long past issue and we would have a free road to use. Good work, Lawrence Wackos. You are a real detriment to our community.

0

TJ_in_Lawrence 2 years, 10 months ago

Build it tomorrow!! It's about time.

0

bangaranggerg 2 years, 10 months ago

That's funny, I always thought the completion of the SLT was a TROLL ROAD, not a toll road.

0

LivedinLawrence4Life 2 years, 10 months ago

I'll gladly pay the toll to avoid the rush hour traffic on 23rd. Please build it soon!

0

monkeywrench1969 2 years, 10 months ago

I wonder how much it will cost to pay for the toll booths at all the entry/exits from LAwrence to this new toll road. Is that budgeted into the amount.

0

akuna 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't mind the idea of a toll. These roads are expensive and the users need to chip in to cover their costs. No more free lunches people.

0

The_Original_Bob 2 years, 10 months ago

"Toll???

Geez, that's foolish."

Indeed.

0

Kim Murphree 2 years, 10 months ago

because a toll road will alleviate SO much traffic on 23rd street...NOT

0

Kim Murphree 2 years, 10 months ago

Yep...throw your tax payer money at it..and we will build it, then charge you to use it

0

monkeywrench1969 2 years, 10 months ago

I wonder what the 1988 dollars to complete this would have been when they first tried to block it withthe save the frog campaign

0

Isabelle 2 years, 10 months ago

I'll pay the toll-just build it already...

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

$192 million? That's about $45 million more than the numbers that have been floated up to now, and easily enough to build it south of the river.

One thing we know for sure-- roadbuilders and Lawrence developers have been very generous with their campaign contributions.

0

MarcoPogo 2 years, 10 months ago

Oooohh boyyyy, is this great!

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.