Completion of Winchester Road on schedule, rests in hands of residents
The city of Eudora continues to wrestle with obstacles on its way to paving Winchester Road and officials hope residents who will benefit most from the road will be willing to help.
An informal meeting was held last Wednesday to get feedback from residents living near Winchester Road. In an April city council meeting, City engineer Matt Taylor informed the council that some land is needed from properties adjacent to the road for its completion. A letter was sent to those residents whose properties would be affected.
Taylor was on hand to inform residents what was needed from them. Residents asked why land could not be used on the east side of the road, where Eudora West Elementary school and a city park is. Taylor said the road needed some land, anywhere from two to five feet into some residents property, from the east side. Taylor said the city chose to adjust the curvature the west side of Winchester Road because several utility lines are underground on the east. The cost of moving the lines would prolong and possibly endanger the project, Taylor said.
Gary Hinman is one property owner who would be affected. Due to a slight curvature of the road to the west, the road comes onto his family's property. Hinman said he's more concerned with losing 15 trees, which would be taken out for the road's completion.
"We'd like to have the trees replaced," Hinman said. "I don't mind volunteering the land but I want my screen of trees after they're done building the road."
Replacing the trees shouldn't be a problem, Taylor said.
"To the degree that we can, I think we'll work to try and move them," he said.
Taylor said the city hopes residents will donate the needed stretches of land, because condemning properties would be costly and time consuming. Bids for the road's construction will be opened Thursday and will remain valid for two months. Construction could begin June 1 if details are resolved. Taylor said condemnation could take between 45 to 50 days, which would prolong completion of the project. Taylor anticipated the road paving would take 90 days to complete if condemnation can be avoided.
Vida Death said there are parts of their land which aren't reflected properly on the diagram of the road. But Death said she and her husband don't object to donating the land and won't seek any money for the needed space.
"We're real pleased about the road being paved," she said. "I think we'll volunteer ours. I don't think that's a problem."
Taylor said he'll send out a letter inviting residents to either donate land or seek condemnation. The letters will be returned to the city attorney.
"I'm going to try and get those out (Thursday)," Taylor said.
The issue is expected to be brought before the council at its May 14 meeting.