Archive for Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Editorial: Key interchange

It’s good to see planning moving forward to provide key access into Lawrence on Bob Billings Parkway.

August 20, 2013


An interchange at the South Lawrence Trafficway’s intersection with Bob Billings Parkway will provide a welcome new access point for Lawrence motorists.

At their meeting tonight, Lawrence city commissioners will be asked approve an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation to construct the interchange. County commissioners have a similar item on their agenda for Wednesday. The city will contribute about $1 million and the county about $528,000 for the project, which will cost an estimated $17 million. Construction on the interchange may begin in the spring of 2014.

The new interchange will provide a new, easier route for motorists to the developing research business hub on Bob Billings Parkway west of Wakarusa Drive. It also is likely to be a popular option for people traveling further east to the Kansas University campus for athletic events, Lied Center performances and other university activities. Right now, the added convenience will be primarily for people approaching Lawrence from the west, but once the SLT is completed and connected to Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence, the new interchange also will ease access from the Kansas City business corridor to developments in west Lawrence.

Local residents who live close to Bob Billings Parkway are understandably concerned about the increased traffic that undoubtedly will result from the new interchange. City traffic planners already are looking at ways to accommodate that traffic, including new traffic signals at the parkway’s intersection with George Williams Way.

The additional traffic on Bob Billings/15th Street will require some adjustment, but the street was designed to accommodate that traffic and serve as a major thoroughfare into the city. The interchange will help support economic development in the area west of Wakarusa Drive as well as provide better access to KU.

It’s good to see city, county and state officials moving this project forward.


Left_of_Lawrence 4 years, 9 months ago

Yea! For those of us that live west of Lawrence, to not have to go north to dangerously narrow Hwy 40 or south to Clinton Parkway will be great! Can't wait. If someone wants to pave a couple of our "lovely" gravel roads that would be cool too. Even a chip and seal surface would be fantastic.

Willing to pitch in ($).

elliottaw 4 years, 9 months ago

This is a complete waste of money, you have 6th street and Clinton parkway both about a 1/2 miles from Bob Billings, why spend another $17 million to make a third road that will only get you to Iowa anyways. From there you have to get all your traffic that you are envisioning (which wont be much) into a single lane to drive onto campus. Plus those coming from out of town (especially for football) are going to be making stops to get food/drinks before they start tailgating.

Phoghorn 4 years, 9 months ago

Two main roads come within about six inches of intersecting each other at this location. It makes perfectly good sense to connect them.

elliottaw 4 years, 9 months ago

If 6th or Clinton were congested it would make sense, but neither one is so there is no need to plop $17 million on a project that has no real use.

Success 4 years, 9 months ago

17 Million!!! Lets put this in perspective. How many hard working, low income families could receive financial assistant for child care or after school enhanced learning opportunities?

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