The Douglas County Commission paved the way for two revamped intersections in Baldwin City in its brief meeting Wednesday afternoon.
The price tag on a project at U.S. Highway 56 and Bullpup Drive has gone up from about $87,000 to about $109,000. That’s because of utility line changes and a provision in state law dealing with jurisdictions over the right of way, said Keith Browning, public works director. Still, he said, “the safety improvement is well worth the money.”
The U.S. 56 project runs to East 1600 Road, but the Bullpup intersection has been of particular concern — and tricky jurisdiction — because it’s close to a school. The commission voted unanimously to support continued participation in the process despite the expected increase in cost.
Another U.S. 56 corridor management project got a unanimous vote of support, this one at Route 14, also known as High Street. Browning said that Baldwin City leaders submitted this project to the Kansas Department of Transportation by themselves but that it would need county involvement of 40 percent of the final cost, estimated at about $80,000.
The plan is to change the geometry of the unincorporated intersection to make it a right angle and to add turn lanes. Browning said Baldwin City had hinted at wanting a business park development there but that, though this is unlikely to come to fruition, the safety concerns make it worth the spending anyway.