Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2000

Winchester Road funds finalized

August 31, 2000

Funds for Winchester Road improvements have been finalized at both county and local levels, paving the way for a tentative timeline toward its completion.

On August 16, the Douglas County Commission committed $200,000 for a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) in its 2001 budget. Under the plan, CIP funds will go toward the paving of Winchester Road.

"The county has it committed; it's in our CIP," said Craig Weinaug, county administrator. "I can confirm that the county's committed $200,000 toward the project."

Eudora City Engineer Matt Taylor said though the cost is not finalized, it is estimated at $700,000. The Eudora City Council approved $200,000 for the 2001 budget, including a rollover of $200,000 from the 2000 budget. And, $45,000 was held in the 2000 budget to begin the design of the road.

Additional funding will come from the development of Wakarusa Ridge Estates, north of K-10 highway and west of Winchester Road. A $400 per lot fee from phase I of the development will go toward the road, with phase II specifics to be determined later.

Some funding may be possible through the Eudora school district, Taylor said. If the city can outline specific costs, the school may be able to fund a portion of the road.

"Maybe, if we can define the cost of improvements that are specific for the school, then they may be able to pay for those," Taylor said.

Taylor said the total cost of the road would be determined after final plans are approved by the city council.

"I think the intent is to do 30' to 35' streets with turning lanes at the school," Taylor said. "Part of the project for the engineer that does it will be to have an initial meeting to have public comments to discuss what's appropriate and what's affordable."

Taylor said a hearing would determine whether bike lanes would be an option, or to add a wider sidewalk. After the public and city council gives its input, a decision will be voted on and the project will proceed.

A tentative schedule has been slated for the project. Taylor said an engineering firm could be hired in late September, with design of the road improvements running from October through December. After the design is completed, the city will advertise in January to accept bids for the project's construction. Bids would be accepted in February, with construction to possibly begin in June. Completion of the project could be in August 2001.

"Hopefully the whole thing will be done before school gets back in session," Taylor said. "The funding is all in place so there's little question about it now except how fast it will be done. We want to avoid it now while school is in session."

As the road improvement schedule progresses, Taylor said Eudora would look to the county for expertise to ensure a quality end product.

"As much as possible, we'll get them to comment on plans and issues just to take advantage of the staff they have," Taylor said.

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