Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

County supports intersection projects

July 18, 2012


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.


logrithmic 1 year, 9 months ago

More taxpayer funded subsidies to trucking interests for the Intermodal going in between Gardner and Edgerton. The Intermodal is a giveaway to one of the wealthiest Americans, Warren (looks like my granddad) Buffett. Buffet is worth upwards of $40 billion, yet KDOT is forcing the taxpayers to underwrite access to Buffet's railroad intermodal to the tune of $50 million. This simply covers modifications to the road system near the Intermodal. Downstream affects include closing off access to the "56 Corridor," building the SLT (to the tune of $250 million), completing the six-lane 59 Highway To Nowhere Between Lawrence and some place north of Ottawa ($500 million), a finishing of K-7 so that it connects to I-35 between Olathe and Gardner, and finallya new interstate highway like project that will run from Gardner northwest through the Sunflower Army plant across K-10 and to the new intersection 212 northesat of Lawrence (the exit to nowhere).

KDOT plans to spend $8.2 billion (possibly up to $10 billion) over the next decade on new superhighways through the Kansas countryside and other pet project handouts to the owners of highway construction crews and their suppliers. It likes to argue these are "jobs" programs. Why should state taxpayers be forced to provide make work jobs for these workers and profits for the owners of these companies?

KDOT also is taking 3/5 of the state's new 1% sales tax increase (including tax on food and medicine). That means whether you like it or not, you're paying for these roadways to nowhere and make work projects.

So in addition to paying tax on food and medicine to support the highway funds, in addition to paying income tax to support the highway giveways and subsidies, Douglas County commissioners are using our property taxes to modify local roads so that Buffet and KDOT can get their way.

God bless the USA!


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