Archive for Thursday, January 4, 2001

Eudora’s west side in constant state of planning, changes

KDOT rejects funds for Eudora

January 4, 2001

from August 10, 2000

Last Friday, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced the recipients of $1.05 billion to go toward highway, intersection and bypass improvements. Despite its growth, Eudora was denied funding for three applications submitted to KDOT.

In June 1999 KDOT announced it would take applications for its System Enhancement Program (SEP). Local governments submitted projects in one of six categories: rural corridor, rural bypass, rural interchange, urban corridor, urban bypass and urban interchange. The program allowed $1.05 billion for urban and rural projects. One element was interchanges, or a set of on ramps and off ramps allowing motorists to exit and enter a highway. Of the 137 total projects evaluated, Eudora had applied for three. Improvements for the K-10 highway and Church Street overpass, interchanges at K-10 and County Road 442 and an interchange at K-10 and Winchester Road.

Eudora City Engineer Matt Taylor said funding for a Winchester Road interchange was the project most desired as the road's paving continues to progress. Taylor said the denied funding would not affect the paving of the road.

"It will still get paved," Taylor said. "It still needs to be done. I think it was worth the try."

Applicants for interchanges were graded on the amount of partially complete work already finished on the project. Applicants were also graded on economic development per each area.

Though the estimated cost of the Winchester Road interchange was $1 million and planning is underway for the road's improvements next year, it did not contribute to Eudora receiving the interchange.

Taylor disagrees.

He said the lack of the interchange might hinder businesses such as strip malls from developing along the K-10 and Winchester Road area.

"It will make it harder for anybody to develop all that adjacent ground because all that traffic would have to go back through the town," Taylor said.

The total amount of funding for the SEP was part of a bigger fund called the Comprehensive Transportation Program (CTP), totaling $12.9 billion. The remaining $11.85 billion for the CTP will fund highways, corridors and other larger projects not outlined in the SEP.

Wichita scored highest among the rating, taking in $224.5 mission for CTP and SEP projects. Taylor said he would have liked to have seen the funds spread out more across the state than four projects in one major metro area.

"Wichita just made out," Taylor said.

Taylor said this application was the city's only shot at getting an interchange built on Winchester Road. He said the project would be too expensive for the city to take on in the immediate future.

"In the near future, it's pretty much a dead deal I think," Taylor said.

from 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.

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.

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. Completion of the project could be in August 2001.

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