Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

South Lawrence Trafficway contract to be awarded Sept. 18; construction to begin soon after

August 29, 2013


Supporters and opponents of the long-debated South Lawrence Trafficway project now have a date to circle on their calendars.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is scheduled to award a construction contract for the approximately $190 million project on Sept. 18. A few weeks later, crews should be moving dirt for the bypass project, which has been stalled amid litigation and environmental protests since the early 1990s.

"I would expect we'll see some work in mid-October or November," said Jonathan Marburger, project manager for KDOT.

In all likelihood, Marburger said, some of the first work will occur in the Baker Wetlands — the epicenter of the debate between roadway supporters and opponents. The project will require large amounts of gravel and fill dirt to be placed in the wetlands to create a solid roadbed. Marburger said crews will want that fill material to be in place early in order to give it plenty of time to settle.

Opponents have said the road project will damage the wetlands and disrespect the spiritual importance the wetlands have to Native American groups. The pending construction in the wetlands has created questions about possible protests as work begins.

"If there is a protest planned, I don't think I would want to discuss it in the newspaper now," said Michael Caron, a longtime leader of the Save the Wakarusa Wetlands organization. "I think it is very fair to say that it (construction) won't go unmarked."

Marburger said state officials aren't making any special plans to deal with possible protests or any other actions related to the longstanding controversy over the road project.

"We'll just work with our contractor and our public-involvement professionals to respond to whatever may come up," Marburger said. "If people want to do something to speak out, we are hopeful they will do it in a civil way."

If construction begins this fall, the road probably will be open by the fall of 2016, Marburger said.

Chuck Soules, director of public works for the city of Lawrence, said the bypass construction will be bigger than the recently-completed U.S. Highway 59 project and larger than the Kansas Turnpike bridge project.

"It is a very big project for this county," Soules said.

But officials are hopeful it won't create big traffic problems for motorists. The route travels across vacant ground rather than following the alignment of an existing road, which is expected to minimize the need to shut down city streets during construction. The new road will begin at Iowa Street, where the western portion of the SLT currently dead-ends, and go to the intersection of Kansas Highway 10 and Noria Road just east of the Lawrence city limits.

There will be a few instances where local streets will be shut down, particularly as portions of Haskell Avenue, Louisiana Street and 31st Street will be moved from their existing locations.

Haskell Avenue, beginning just north of the 31st Street intersection, will move about 1,000 feet to the east as it heads south toward the Wakarusa River. The portion of Louisiana Street south of 31st Street will move about a half mile to the west. Both relocations are to create more distance between the roads and the Baker Wetlands.

But Marburger said state officials will direct the winning contractor that both Haskell and Louisiana can't be shut down at the same time.

"There always will be a route on one of those two streets for traffic to get over the Wakarusa River," he said.

Marburger said timelines for when those streets may close will become clearer once a contractor is selected. The state will give the contractor significant authority to determine the phasing of the construction project.

The other major local street impact will be on 31st Street. The existing portion of 31st Street between Haskell and Louisiana will be removed and returned to wetlands. The new portion of 31st Street will move several hundred feet to the south and will run parallel to the SLT.

As part of the SLT contract, crews also will build an extension of 31st Street from Haskell to O'Connell Road. The two-lane road, which will include a hike-and-bike path, will mostly be paid for by the city, but will be bid by the state in order to take advantage of cost efficiencies related to the SLT project, Soules said.

The new portion of 31st Street will end at a roundabout at O'Connell Road where N 1300 Road currently intersects. A firm timeline for the 31st Street project hasn't been set, but Marburger said work on it probably wouldn't begin until 2015.

"That street will do a lot for people who live in southeast Lawrence and want to get to South Iowa Street," Soules said. "It will do a lot to relieve traffic on Haskell."

Once connected with the already-built western portion of the SLT, the trafficway extension will provide an unbroken route from Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence to Interstate 70 northwest of Lawrence.

City officials are predicting that the road will provide a significant boost to the community's economic development efforts, particularly efforts to attract tenants to the new industrial park that is being built on the former Farmland Industries property on Lawrence's eastern edge.

"I'm in a business where it is easy to overstate," City Manager David Corliss told city commissioners recently. "But I think it is very difficult to overstate the importance of this project to the community."


Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

A $190 million tax $$$$$$ pork barrel project that will increase local taxes and user fees to meet developer demands for construction projects Lawrence,Kansas will not be able to support.

If real estate growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would never be in a budget crunch. Never be asked to accept increased taxes and user fees. But with increased numbers of real estate projects Lawrence, Kansas increases demands on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by new real estate projects does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.

Why not IMPACT FEES or EXCISE TAXES? Local real estate developers have had a great time laughing all of the way to the bank on the backs of taxpayers.

The root of the problem are incorrect decisions by way of city commissions.

Taxpayers on old east sides of town are paying for subsidizing the growth caused by the developers in the south,west and northwest part of town. What's up with that??

The south, west and northwest parts of town is where the greatest residential growth is being seen. There has been so much growth in recent years that the city thinks it needs a new sewage treatment plant, needs to extend 31st street,thinks it needs more light industrial property which is caused by artificial economic growth aka bedroom community.

Developer Impact fees and excise taxes are legal. Either of these would provide the community with extra revenue instead of always asking taxpayers to make up the any difference related to new NOT NECESSARY development.

In order for the city to have orderly growth, developers should be responsible for all expenses related to new infrastructure. Most builders understand impact fees or excise taxes are for a purpose that improves their big profit making developments.

Armstrong 4 years, 9 months ago

It was the likes of you and Eye and the rest of the enviro-friendly bunch that drove these cost through the roof. Due to the litigation, and stall tactics employed by the opposition the cost of this project has tripled it's original price tag.

The next time you want to spout off about the cost of a project you need to look no further then the mirror to guess how the figure got so high. You and the like are to blame for this one.

BigAl 4 years, 9 months ago

Thank you Armstrong. Very well stated.

avarom 4 years, 9 months ago

Think about this....with all the fracking; high pressure, sand and chemicals. That new project is going to barely last 5 years. There will be more retro fitting issues and cracking like a dropped mirror, Betcha!! Now that's a waste of tax payers dollars, and you all will probably have to pay again. There are normal voids in the earth and they can't tell when they're fracking where those voids are, so if and when they hit one of those voids, which is often.............crack...... crack....Ccccrrraaarack. There goes your project and your tax dollars right down the hole they created. Those Engineers should re-evaulate their plans, if they understand anything about structures, which is doubtful. The ground requires settlement and that takes years!

Some great articles to educate yourself about fracking....

alittlecurious 4 years, 9 months ago

Is anybody fracking close to the SLT?????

DRsmith 4 years, 9 months ago

It is about time. So happy when I don't have to hit 50 lights to get through the south side of Lawrence. This project is long overdue. Also, I am pretty sure the cost of the project has way more than tripled.

Armstrong 4 years, 9 months ago

I believe the initial estimate was $60/M

jesse499 4 years, 9 months ago

Kylechandler:If you knew anything about how long this was in the works you would understand why it was 60 million but sense you probably weren't born yet.

jesse499 4 years, 9 months ago

Yea 30 years ago but due to circumstances we should have controlled!!!!

Mike Ford 4 years, 9 months ago

White US Courts sanctifying the theft of tribal lands as was done in the 1950's.... Indigenous peoples have witnessed theft sanctified by courts for a couple of centuries now. The illegal seizure of the Black Hills in 1874 and the attempted bribe for the theft of Paha Sapa in 1980 by the US government.....The forgery of Kiowa signatures to allow theft through allotment of the lands in Oklahoma between OKC and the Texas Panhandle which led to the US Supreme Court case Lone Wolf V. Hitchcock in 1903, the illegal flooding of the Cornplanter Seneca Tract in 1963 to create the Kinzua Dam in Pennsylvania, the jailing of Cherokees and Creeks who wouldn't go along with the allotment of their tribal lands who were denied their tribal monies until they signed away their tribal lands when Oklahoma was created. For any blindly patriotic Christian Americans who think this country has done no wrong I and many others will gladly remind and educate that this road project is just another example of American hypocracy and I hope that the descendants will speak when they are exposed to the sun again by this construction. I read a year or so ago about a tribal chairman who told the EPA over and over that a proposed solar panel farm was disturb his tribe's burial sites on the California/Arizona border. The construction hit many graves. The ancestors spoke and the project was stopped. When do sensible people stop and show respect?

number3of5 4 years, 9 months ago

well spoken. I think some people would still like to continue the genocide of all Native Peoples.

gorilla10 4 years, 9 months ago

2 lane or 4?? How will it look connected to K-10??? How about some pictures of the proposed plan??? If this project is going to cost 190 million can't we at least get a dang picture of what the finished product will look like..............

windjammer 4 years, 9 months ago

It's going to look like the other part does a two lane county hick road.

3up3down 4 years, 9 months ago

4 lanes baby!!! Widen that sucker out and eat up that bug infested waste land. Bring in the dozers, the dirt and let's get this thing built. Thanks for the price hike on the road tree huggers.

gatekeeper 4 years, 9 months ago

Why don't you just take yourself to LA if you hate nature so much. They've done a wonderful job out there of eliminating all nature and have nothing but concrete from Dana Point to Santa Barbara. There are a lot of CA transplants out here that left the concrete hell to have what you call a bug infested waste land. You don't know how wonderful green spaces are until they're gone, but you appear to be of the same mindset of the *sshats we left behind in LA.

LogicMan 4 years, 9 months ago

Build it, and we will drive! And spend money at Menards and all the new and old stores that will be much easier to get to and from.

Mike Ford 4 years, 9 months ago

gotta love historical ignorance.....brought to you by the American educational system.

Jayson Hawk 4 years, 9 months ago

I hope it's going to be 4 lanes. It's too bad that the western portion of the bypass is only 2 lanes.

dozer 4 years, 9 months ago

Isn't the historical ignorance here the fact that everyone keeps arguing it was burial ground/spiritual center, when it was simply a floodplain that had a drain tile installed, and then became a wetland when the drain tile was removed?

This is a good deal...larger wetland and a road.

gatekeeper 4 years, 9 months ago

You are very ingnorant about Haskell and the lands around it.

irussell 4 years, 9 months ago

As a child my father used to put up hay on the "wetlands" and the road that gives access to the wetlands at about 35th Street went through from Haskell to Iowa street. It is about time this is getting done since it was voted on and approved in the 80's by the TAXPAYERS.

kcwarpony 4 years, 9 months ago

Any word on whether any tribal representatives are going to monitor the excavation within the Haskell Agricultural Farm Property, as stated in the final MOA?

smileydog 4 years, 9 months ago

I can only pray that when the bypass is connected to our major intersections, that they wait until the KU students get back in town. This pleases me greatly! - like how the city decided to put in new sidewalks on busy 23rd Street the week of, and the asphalt patching on Kasold the week of, and let's not forget 2 weeks before the students return they tear out part of Wakarusa then left for extended holiday, and the incredibly slow progress all over town especially the giant ditch called Iowa Street. 15th got done last minute after an extra long summer break it appears. I smile every time I maneuver my lead guzzling '69 Caddie in slow motion through those cones.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

In 1971 the State Highway Commission recommended a bypass for Lawrence that would be built south of the Wakarusa River with zero impact on the wetlands. Staying with this decision the bypass would have been completed years ago.

Also in 1971 the Bureau of Indian Affairs granted Douglas County a right of way for 31st street. Haskell received no money for granting a 24 acre easement for the new road.

In 1985 the Chamber of Commerce "Transportation Committee", county commissioners and developers allegedly met in secret to discuss a trafficway. The county commission later proposed a southern trafficway through the wetlands.

Why would anyone in their right mind suggest a road through an environmentally sensitive area in Lawrence,Kansas? Knowing this plan would surely meet resistance?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

My prediction where this trafficway meets K-10 will become exactly like where K-10 and 435 come together. A rush hour traffic jam only with tons of 18 wheelers tailgating. Because local developers have plans for lots and lots of houses all along the way.

A rule of thumb is new roads bring more vehicles = rush hour still a bitch. All for $200,000,000 tax dollars. Cars,drivers and developers are extremely high tax dollar budget items.

Why do developers believe it is the taxpayers responsibility to make their profit making ventures a success? Why do so many taxpayers believe that as well?

Elected officials and local profiteers are draining OUR pocketbooks and raising OUR taxes. We've subsidized local profiteers at such a basic level for so long, that many people believe Lawrence will die if we don't. This is false-what we think of as a level playing field is tilted steeply in favor of local profiteers driving development.

City hall, elected officials and local profiteers are draining OUR pocketbooks and raising OUR taxes..... absolutely.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 9 months ago

Those in the best position to distinguish between lazy, shiftless bums who don't want to work, (and therefore, should not be receiving government services) and the mentally ill or veterans with PTSD, (who should be getting help from the government), choose not to make that distinction. They have a specific interest in not making that distinction. Their jobs depend upon it. If those in the best position to make the distinction choose not to, it's hard to fault the lay public for also not making that distinction.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Elected officials and local profiteers are draining OUR pocketbooks and raising OUR taxes.

JBsJAYHAWKS 4 years, 9 months ago

Merrill - as Americans, we are too lazy to stand up and fight our government - our politicians use their time in office to only further their and their children's futures and in some cases, arranged marriages - it is disgusting - but hey, we're Americans and too civilized to stand up and speak, oops, I'm sorry, we no longer have freedom of speech, and none of our elected officials will speak to us anyway - its a sad situation - well back to my couch to watch stupid reality shows and possibly play video games - oh yeah, and if you do try to confront a politician, you get arrested - welcome to America!!!

kernal 4 years, 9 months ago

All the bickering and threat of more protests aren't going to stop this from being built, so let's just get it done before costs keep going up and move on.

sourpuss 4 years, 9 months ago

I hope the give the contract to someone who will charge appropriate tolls to recoup the cost of building the road. I figure $1/car, $4/semi should be sufficient. It would be a real waste if it were left free.

gatekeeper 4 years, 9 months ago

And I will bet if they made it a toll road, all these idoits that want it built will whine and then not use it. They could have been using I-70 to get to KC all these years, but are too cheap to pay.

Kyle Miller 4 years, 9 months ago

And there again sourpuss...... if your types of people would have quit trying to stop the building of it years ago and let it happen.... it would have saved a TON of money. But now not so much. So..... I guess I don't feel a bit sorry for all you people that are now complaining of the cost of it.

BigAl 4 years, 9 months ago

I hope so. We need to keep as much of this development money as close to home as possible. I hope this helps all of our local contractors and suppliers as possible.

nick_s 4 years, 9 months ago

Oh, don't you worry. Im sure the local contractors & suppliers will be well taken care of. Im all about supporting local business, as long as they do it the right way, meaning no cronyism or nepotism. If a non-local business has a lower bid, is it prudent to the taxpayers to go with the lower bid, or support the local guys, who always seem to end up with the contracts, regardless of the bid process?

Michael Sizemore 4 years, 9 months ago

YAY! Thanks to all who kept advocating for this wonderful project in the face of such adversity. Your persistence is admirable! What a great project for our community! Can't wait! Thank you!

gorilla10 4 years, 9 months ago

YESSS!!!!! Thanks for the picture. It all makes sense now.

Wayne James 4 years, 9 months ago

IF the powers that be had simply built two new bridges over the "Walkie", they would have )(been money ahead and avoided all this whoopla over the wetlands (mosquito hatcheries) they could have had the road completed by now. I don't remember them complaining when they destroyed the defunct Horseshoe Lake(it was dried up when I was a kid 60+ yrs ago) to build the new K-10. It would have been simpler to extend the current by-pass and pass just south of the river or to go just south of the river than to bring the heavy truck traffic back into town along 31st/34th sts.

Russell Fryberger 4 years, 9 months ago

Has anyone done any estimates on how much money this bypass will save on wear and tear on 23rd st? My only negative about the road is that it looks to be a 2 lane road, will it be made into a 4 lane as a finished project or will it be redesigned after all the headon collisions pile up?

peartree 4 years, 9 months ago

Chad, I'm trying to click on the picture to see more closely where the road is, but I cannot. The image isn't in the article, just on the front page. Can a clearer and larger version of the image be uploaded please?

thefisherman 4 years, 9 months ago

Are you looking at the second page of the PDF? I found that view quite helpful.

PAWPAW 4 years, 9 months ago

There must be a 3D image somewhere with all of the interchanges, soundwalls, etc. Can you post that too, Chad? Preferably in the print version so the community can get a sense of what we have to look forward too. Anyone else seen anything like that? Thanks.

LogicMan 4 years, 9 months ago

rkatzfey, thanks for the link!

Yes, it will be four lanes! The crowd goes wild!

jack22 4 years, 9 months ago

I can't wait to fill up my Hummer and by pass Lawrence, heck, Topeka's just around the bend. Having to drive through Lawrence on my way to my six bedroom home in West Lawrence/Topeka just isn't fair to me or my rich neighbors. That's why I'm getting me one of them bumper stickers that says this machine kills frogs and other endangered species.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 9 months ago

I figured there waould be a wealth of entertaining blather here the minute I saw the headline on the print edition. Frankly, I am surprised that they put the story on the digital edition, this sewsrag likes to censor their news and avoid comments on selected stories.

Whoever receives the contract better be ready to have armored equipment, bullet proof cabs, bomb sniffing dogs, the whole nine yards of protection against terrorism. This could get ugly.

gatekeeper 4 years, 9 months ago

I was on 6th street the other evening at rush hour and it was worse than 23rd St. 6th St has a bypass - I-70, but saw tons of cars that could avoid all the traffic and don't. The same thing will happen with the bypass. The excuses - "I needed to stop at the store, I needed to get gas, blah blah blah". Traffic will stay heavy on 23rd St, the trafficway (which should have been built as originally planned south of the Waka) will just destroy the wetlands (don't get started on making new wetlands, it will be forever until anything really takes root there) and not ease traffic that much.

Anyone that's lived in larger areas and watched these same kinds of bypasses built understands and knows what a stupid waste of money this project is. It was all started because "certain" people owned land near it and could profit. There are a lot of these bypasses in cities out west that have no where the traffic that was projected.

Greg DiVilbiss 4 years, 9 months ago

Here is a link to the History of the Wetlands... Pretty interesting.

Mike Ford 4 years, 8 months ago

pr lies that ignore Native American history.

Greg DiVilbiss 4 years, 8 months ago

What part is a lie and what part is ignored.

blindrabbit 4 years, 9 months ago

As a tree hugging naturalist, biologist and as a kid spent many hours in the 1950's Haskell Wetlands the completion of the SLT is the best thing that has happened to the south side of Lawrence. The story about this area being sacred to Haskell is a red herring, as Haskell operated a cattle operation (1940s/50s) on what was purported to be historical gravesites, no complaint about the manure being dropped then.. I would bet that most of the nay-sayers have little experience trying to navigate the 23rd Street debacle. Environmentally speaking, just think of the wasted gasoline and time trying to traverse the 16 (I think) traffic signals from O'Connell rd. to Wakarusa rd. Many of the complainers including Merrill complain about the cost of completion of this project but do not consider the advantages this completion will hold. In fact, I see in a previous posting today Merrill groused about the increased traffic and the gridlock the new road will contribute. If I'm not mistaken it was Merrill himself in a posting several months ago professed that the SLT was a boondoggle because "nobody would use it", refusing to abandon 23 rd. Street. Many folks (no one particular in mind) in Lawrence harken back to the drug fueled, anti war existence we had in Lawrence in the 1960's-70's, hoping for a return to the supposed anti-everything, no-progress that that time championed. Balderdash!!

JustNoticed 4 years, 9 months ago

"public-involvement professionals" What the hell is that? PR flack is my guess. Their job, no doubt, is to prevent public involvement.

brutus 4 years, 9 months ago

The overwhelming majority of people around here voted for and want the road. Build it.

Mike Ford 4 years, 9 months ago

Non Indians think this is totally about being anti everything. Very far from the truth. Your country stole lands through extermination, cultural genocide, allotment. blood quantum, and congressional termination....not to forget having White people run the Bureau of Indian Affairs for most of it's existence and giving away land without Indian consultation. You live on Indian land whether it's Kaw, Osage, Shawnee, Delaware, or Pawnee, or if you want to go back far enough Dalton or Pomona Phase cultures as your archaeologists state. When you didn't outright kill Indians you moved them. When the moving didn't make them go away or become culturally white you sent missionaries to them. When this didn't work you played divide and conquer and took their kids away for a decade at a time to be culturally reprogrammed which what Haskell and schools like it did in the 19th century and many children didn't survive your diseases and brutal treatment. When this didn't work you stereotyped us and called us welfare recipients when you were the ones who benefitted from your government taking lands for you to live on as immigrants. Your culture creates archie bunkers who could care less about history and their culture's culpability and simply want people to wear headdresses at sports events which makes it soooo easy to say shut up we won in such a clueless manner. We're not going away. I've been here fighting this sixteen years. When a book is written on your actions it won't be nice. It will be as ugly as all of the racism and denial I encountered at EIS and SEIS hearings and protests. But in the spirit of cluelessness that I've witnessed forget history we want it now and we don't care how. Just look at the abandoned railroad right of way to the east of the wetlands. Someone wanted the Ottawa, Sac and Fox, and Osage tribes out of the way for that one in the 1860's. It's abandoned all the way to the Oklahoma border now.

Mike Ford 4 years, 8 months ago

having read a book called Breaking Ground by Seattle Post Intelligencer Reporter Lynda Mapes I read about how a spit of land extending into the water was originally a Klallam fishing area and community for a 1500 year period. In 1920 in a land theft era for many Washington state tribes the spit of land and tidal flats were built upon many times over with seaside warehouses to the point where the land looked nothing like it did in the Klallam times of pre contact. By the late 1990's and early 2000's the Washington State Department of Transportation wanted to build a pontoon launching station on this site. The pontoons were used to support bridges since the waters were too deep for bridge pilings there. The local and state authorities there did little consultation with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe even though bones and artifacts were found routinely in and around the Port Angeles area that I read about. An archaeologist with a half functioning auger did a findings report and stating nothing of importance was in the area and the construction could proceed. The project people agreed with her (sounds familiar?). By the time this project was abandoned over 350 sets of remains and hundreds if not thousands of artifacts were uncovered in an area that looked like an abandoned waterside warehouse complex to the naked eye. This project was abandoned $69 million in and was not finished. This Klallam tribe is still fighting with the local municipalities over the $6 million in damages and lands awarded to them for repatriation of the ancestors that were retrieved in buckets in a warehouse a couple of years after this debacle. Are you really in this much hurry to get knee deep in stink? maybe the construction companies who take the bid won't enjoy being protested at their businesses constantly. Just saying.

Mike Ford 4 years, 8 months ago

in response to Mr. Divilbiss's question about what part is pr nonsense I'll respond to that. What isn't mentioned in this Baker article? the fact that there's no mention whatsoever of the United Methodist involvement in the destabilizing of the Shawnee and Wyandotte tribes that inhabited this area playing factions of each tribe against each other to gain access to Shawnee lands following the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854. All of the Christian denominations did the dirty work of the US Government in Kansas by meddling in tribal affairs and finding the tribal sellouts that were pliable with bribery and coercion to cede lands for White settlement in this area. If this isn't relevant to this discussion why was there a reconciliation ceremony on the Baker campus five or so years ago that was attended by Kansas Wyandotte and Eastern Shawnee delegates where a tree of reconciliation was planted on the Baker campus by the late Baker instructor Brenda Day that I attended? who has the guilty conscience and why? Baker University and the wetlands set upon Shawnee lands. The Shawnee had 1.8 million acres of land from 1825 and 1831 treaties. Currently maybe 200 acres is left of this large swath of land due to White greed in tracts between De Soto and Shawnee on 83rd street and near K-7 and Shawnee Mission Parkway. Baker University is a United Methodist College. How does infringing on indigenous religious beliefs and destroying a place of historical indigenous suffering and death reflect on a college that seems miles away from the conscientiousness and respect of others that my father learned at Baker in the 1960's before he became a United Methodist Minister for four decades. It sounds as if you all would be okay building a road through the Gettysburg battlefield or any Nazi concentration camp if it satisfied your appetite for development and paving. When there is a specific law, Title 25, Chapter 7, Section 293a, of the Federal Indian School Surplus Lands Act of 1962 (public laws 47 and 87 combined) that limited land transfers to 50 acres at a time of this particular type of land and 572.68 acres of land is transferred through HEW instead what kind of bribery and coercion took place to circumvent the land transfer law? As a person whose studied this stuff for almost two decades now bribery and coercion are part and parcel of the taking of lands in Indian Country. Andrew Jackson used the implied threat of genocide and no compensation to force most of my Choctaw people from Mississippi in the 1830's.

Mike Ford 4 years, 8 months ago

The US Government also told the Ottawa Tribe in Oklahoma as they were being congressionally terminated from federal recognition by HR 108 in 1955 that they wouldn't get their Indian Claims Commission moneys from the lands the Baptist Church stole from them in the 1860's for Ottawa University unless they accepted congressional termination of their federal recognition. This termination act meant the end of their BIA services until they were restored to federal recognition in 1978 along with the Peoria, Wyandotte, and Modoc Tribes in Oklahoma. It also meant the federal government had no obligation to pay them the ICC money once terminated. The US Government that supposedly protects Indian interests tried to get themselves off the hook for the ICC Ottawa monies and obviously didn't care what the Indians at Haskell thought when the allowed Baker University and Ivan Boyd to circumvent the law mentioned above in the land transfer. You know the BIA has been sued for not upholding treaty responsibility with tribes right? The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma and the US Government are in impasse now trying to settle a case the tribe won against the US Government for not handling it's land trust responsibilities with the Quapaw Tribe who have lands in and near the Picher Superfund EPA site. This settlement worth a couple of hundred million dollars the last time I read. The BIA also neglected it's treaty trust responsibilities with the transfer of the wetlands area construction or not. This is by no means over. Besides how accurate is the Baker wetlands blurb when it doesn't even acknowledge the Oregon trails signs on the west end of the wetlands that are about to be destroyed?

nwtransplant 4 years, 8 months ago

If some white person or organization owned this land, that road would have been built a long time ago. How long do we have to pay for the things our ancestors did? I'm not asking that we forget it ever happened, but you need to get past it. I will attend the ribbon cutting, when this road is completed.

the_big_D 4 years, 8 months ago

some white person does own the land. some people wonder how long they will have to pay for the things like the construction of an unnecessary road. the SLT is a bad project and should be abandoned. Kansas doesn't have the money for this road right now!

Mike Ford 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm a grown preacher's kid. This battle isn't really about me. It's about the legacy of federal Indian Boarding Schools and what they did to destroy Indian culture along with Genocide, Christianity, land allotment, and the US Government policy of banning tribal languages and religious practices after 1886. Tribal Holy Men put into jail by Indian Agents and local authorities and their families starved into abandoning their cultures for fear of Sun Dances, Ghost Dances, Potlatches, and Stomp Dances all viewed as pagan and barbaric by the Methodist authorities who ran Haskell back then. Know what your culture did and know why you're opposed. Know that this road project is causing a wound that no reconciliation can fix because it my experience of going to reconciliation ceremonies an apology is all fine and good but what was done was done. Baker planted a tree for those Shawnee and Wyandotte representatives whom I attended the reconciliation ceremony with. The Kansas Wyandotte still don't have federal recognition and the greedy people here opposed the former Sunflower Ammo Depot lands being transferred back to the Shawnee people who lived in this area from 1825 to 1869 a decade ago. A guilty conscience never returns land or stops an offensive and destructive road project. The apology never appears until the act of greed has been accomplished if at all. Good luck.

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