Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2001

Neighbor disagrees with proposed river work

October 25, 2001

Not everyone affected by a preservation project on the Kansas River near Eudora is thrilled. Just ask Bob Rooker, who lives about a mile north of the river. He's not convinced the project is necessary.

The Army Corps of Engineers hopes to construct a series of four dikes along the north bank of the river, just west of the bridge. Engineers say if they don't make repairs the course of the river will oxbow, leaving Leavenworth County Road 1, which is Main Street/Douglas County Road 1061 in Eudora, under water.

Rooker isn't happy about having his tax money go to the project, and he said some of his neighbors feel the same way. In response, he said he's contacted Kansas representatives and senators.

"Both ends of the new bridge are built far beyond the banks," Rooker said. "It's going to be many, many years before erosion (takes its course). They raised the road up to an elevation to where it would be impossible for the water to get over it."

But U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project manager Lamar McKissack said that if the river continues to erode the bank it would cut into the dikes. The problem becomes more difficult and more expensive to fix with time, he said.

But landowners should know what they're getting into when they buy low land by a river, Rooker said. He also doesn't see much value in the project.

"There's nothing we can do short of building a dam," he said. "When it floods, all the levies in the world aren't going to make any difference."

Funds for the project will rely on both federal funding and money from Douglas and Leavenworth counties.

Last month the Douglas County Commission approved the issuing of temporary notes not to exceed $750,000 to finance the project.

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