Archive for Thursday, December 14, 2000

Johnson County road proposal contemplated by local planners

December 14, 2000

Planners are considering public comments voiced at a fall meeting in DeSoto before making a proposal to the county commission about a new road plan for northwest Johnson County.

When the Johnson County Commission approved the controversial Comprehensive Arterial Road Network Plan in January 1999, no future improvement routes were identified for the northwest part of the county because of the uncertainty of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant.

Over the last two years, the county public works and planning departments have worked to identify routes that will handle increased traffic over the next 20 years.

During an Oct. 31 meeting in DeSoto, one north-south and two east-west routes were identified.

The north-south route would connect Kansas Highway 10 with 151st Street. The proposal called for the construction of a new roadway about a half mile west of Kill Creek in the northern-most section of the corridor. The road's alignment would rejoin the existing Kill Creek roadway further to the south.

David Greene of Johnson County Public Works said the road would first be developed as a two-lane road, but when fully developed it would be an access-controlled, divided four-lane parkway.

The proposal would also connect the new north-south corridor to Kansas Highway 7 with a four-lane parkway. The route would follow 111th Street west of K-7 to Moonlight Road and then follow 115th Street to the new north-south corridor.

Another east-west corridor would connect the north-south parkway to the county line.

Many of those attending the Oct. 31 meeting voiced concerns that had been expressed before the county commission approved the arterial road plan two years ago. Residents of rural northwest Johnson County said the proposed routes would encourage development and threaten their rural lifestyles. They also questioned why the county didn't use existing roads such as 135th Street.

Greene said the county planners are considering the public comments before making a final recommendation to the county commission. It appears that final recommendation will not be ready until late January, he said.

If so, Commissioner Johnna Lingle would not be part of the decision. Lingle listed the northwest corridor study as one of the things she wanted to wrap up before leaving office.

Susie Wolf defeated Lingle in the Aug. 1 GOP primary and is slated to take her seat on the commission the second week of January.

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