Has the Kansas Turnpike Authority done an environmental impact study to determine if there will be any negative impact when they blast the bridge? How will it affect the efforts of recovering the debris from the river?
Yes, the turnpike authority completed an Environmental Impact Assessment in preparation for a $130 million project that includes replacement of the turnpike’s two original Kansas River bridges, said Rex Fleming, project engineer. The assessment determined that the project needed to account for the habitats of three species: the American bald eagle, the flathead chub and the sturgeon chub. Bridge spans crossing the river are scheduled to be blasted Nov. 15, Nov. 19 and sometime in December. That’s to keep from disturbing fish during their critical time in the river habitat, which runs from spring through August, Fleming said. The turnpike project has been cleared by the Kansas Division of Water Resources, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and other agencies, Fleming said.