Archive for Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Planning group to discuss possible ‘outer loop’ project

December 11, 2012


Related document

Five County Corridor Map ( .PDF )

Officials from Douglas County and four other counties in the Kansas City metropolitan region will meet with the Kansas Department of Transportation next week in Olathe to discuss the possibility of building a new beltway outside the Interstate 435 loop.

The group is called the Stakeholder Advisory Panel for the Five County Regional Transportation Study. That group has been meeting for about four years. It includes officials from KDOT, the Mid-America Regional Council and the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Organization. It was formed to study the changing transportation needs in Douglas, Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Miami counties in Kansas.

The so-called outer loop project has been talked about for years but has never been ranked as a high priority. In October, the five-county stakeholder group issued a preliminary report about potential long-range transportation projects, and the so-called outer loop project scored low on the priority list.

But it was given new life in recent days when Gov. Sam Brownback said he wanted to see more serious discussion of the project. There are no plans to include the project in the state’s most recent multi-year transportation plan known as T-Works.

Discussions of the project have focused on a route from Interstate 70 south of Tonganoxie, then south toward Gardner near the Miami County line, and east toward Missouri.

Brownback said the opening of the new BNSF intermodal shipping hub near Edgerton in southern Johnson County will generate more traffic in the area, creating a need for additional roadway. He also indicated the metro area’s continued expansion west would drive the need for a new highway.

Such a project could have an impact on traffic flow between Lawrence and Johnson County, but local officials say they think it’s still too early to tell whether such a project would be good for Douglas County.

Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug said he also thinks it’s still too early to know how such a project might affect the local area.

“The discussion and proposal are not anywhere near the point that anybody could be in a position to say that they support it or oppose it,” Weinaug said in an email when asked about the project.


KiferGhost 5 years, 1 month ago

What a bunch of horse manure. If Brownshirt wants it let him pray for it, if God wants it to exist with prayer he would provide it without any taxpayer dollars used. Isn't that how it works Brownie?

KS 5 years, 1 month ago

This project has been considered for a long time, before Brownback became Governor! Get off his back. As far as you are concerned, he can do nothing right. Where do you want to the dark ages? Well, if so, you have picked the right town of Lawrence, Kansas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

This is being driven by the pave-it-over, trucking and sprawl/development industries, all major contributors to politicians, almost certainly including Brownback, telling him that they need this corporate welfare to insure their continued growth (think cancer) over the coming decades.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't understand how the state can have a $300 million budget hole this year resulting in the governor cutting higher education funding by 8% next year and all other state agencies by 10% but there is enough money for this boondoggle? I bet the governor or his major campaign contributors own land in Johnson County near the outer loop site and will become even richer while the rest of us working folk get poorer...

Commenting has been disabled for this item.