Douglas County commissioners agreed to pump $100,000 into plans for building an interchange on the South Lawrence Trafficway at Bob Billings Parkway, at the western edge of Lawrence.
Commissioners agreed Wednesday evening to support the Kansas Department of Transportation’s pursuit of a federal grant to finance the bulk of the estimated $20 million project.
The county money would go along with $100,000 already committed by the city of Lawrence, and be directed to defray the cost of an estimated $800,000 to $1 million in bike lanes/sidewalks at the interchange.
Keith Browning, county engineer and director of public works, noted that the local money would amount to a “100-to-1 leverage” should the grant be approved, leading the state and federal governments to build the interchange.
Shoeb Uddin, city engineer, said that if the federal grant fell through, the state likely would build the basic interchange but rely on the city and county to come up with an additional $600,000 to $800,000 to make the bike lanes/sidewalks a reality.
“We’re working hard,” Uddin said of the grant application. “We’ll give it our best shot.”