KDOT to conduct study on K-10 expansion, interchanges

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

The western leg of Kansas Highway 10, or the South Lawrence Trafficway, is shown from the U.S. 59 Highway/Iowa Street interchange in this file photo from June 2017.

The Kansas Department of Transportation announced Friday that it will begin a supplemental environmental impact study on the western leg of Kansas Highway 10, the South Lawrence Trafficway corridor, as a necessary step to expanding the roadway to four lanes.

The planned three-year study will review the 19 miles of the K-10 corridor from North 1800 Road, known locally as the Farmer’s Turnpike, to the highway’s intersection with East 23rd Street, according to a press release from Laurie Arellano, a spokeswoman for KDOT. The study will examine the environmental consequences of possible highway improvements and their benefits.

The Journal-World reported in July that KDOT would conduct a three-year environmental impact study of expanding the west leg of K-10, from U.S. Highway 59 to the Farmer’s Turnpike, to four lanes. Arellano said at the time that study was a necessary step in expanding the current two-lane portion of the highway to four lanes.

Friday’s press release states the supplemental environmental impact study (SEIS) will not only review that expansion but will also study proposed interchange improvements and other possible changes. Those possible improvements include replacement of the at-grade highway crossing at Wakarusa Drive with a separated grade interchange, and possible alterations or alternatives to the current Lecompton interchange at K-10 and Interstate 70. The press release states one Lecompton interchange alternative to be studied is replacing the existing K-10/I-70 interchange with one at I-70 and East 600 Road.

The SEIS will be broken into three parts. They are:

• The K-10 west leg from the Farmer’s Turnpike to U.S. 59/Iowa Street.

• The four-lane K-10 eastern leg from U.S. 59 to the East 23rd Street exit that opened in November 2016.

• About 0.6 miles of East 600 Road at Interstate 70, south of Lecompton, and 4.1 miles of U.S. Highway 40, from K-10 west to East 600 Road.

The public is encouraged to provide input on the improvements through planned surveys and focus group meetings, the press release states. KDOT will have a project website available this fall, and residents can request email updates from the project team at info@SLT-KS.org.

Arellano told the Journal-World in July that the K-10 west leg expansion was one of the “emerging needs” to be considered for inclusion in an as-yet unfunded new state highway transportation plan, with 23 projects planned for but never completed in the state’s current 10-year plan.

Gov. Jeff Colyer has appointed a task force to make recommendations to the Kansas Legislature next session on what should be funded in the state’s next transportation plan. The task force will tour the state and have public hearings this fall in preparation for making its recommendations to the Legislature, Arellano said.

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