Archive for Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mayor says county’s latest intersection alignment misses point

Johnson County Public Works released a new realignment for the Kill Creek Road/95th Street intersection needed to square the corner with a future Kill Creek Road arterial street.

Johnson County Public Works released a new realignment for the Kill Creek Road/95th Street intersection needed to square the corner with a future Kill Creek Road arterial street.

June 5, 2008

A new realignment of a future Kill Creek Road/95th Street intersection that attempts to address local criticism of an earlier concept is still likely to get a chilly reception from the De Soto City Council.

Johnson County Public Works released Friday its realignment of the 95th Street and Kill Creek intersection needed to work with the future Kill Creek/Homestead Road north/south route proposed in the county's County Arterial Road Network Plan. Under CARNP, the future north/south arterial would jog about a quarter mile west of the current Kill Creek alignment.

The realignment came after the county contracted an engineering review this spring to better define where the future arterial road's 150- to 200-foot right of way should be placed in an 800-foot corridor the county identified for the Kill Creek/Homestead Road alignment in 2002. It also comes after city of De Soto officials and property owners near the intersection were critical of an earlier realignment concept of the intersection at Kill Creek Road and 95th Street.

The intersection design released Friday still starts the jog to the new arterial road's western alignment north of 95th Street. It, however, reverses from the north to the south the loop in 95th Street needed to square the intersection with a realigned Kill Creek Road.

It is the county's goal to use the defined route to preserve right of way for the arterial, although it might not be constructed for two decades, said Brian Pietig, assistant engineer with Johnson County Public Works.

The county has set money aside to purchase right of way for the future arterial when land comes up for sale. But Pietig said the money wouldn't be available to purchase right of way within the city limits.

"There isn't too much of that realignment within the city limit," he said.

De Soto Mayor Dave Anderson said city government or local residents never accepted the need to realign Kill Creek Road to the west and the county commission approved the concept despite stated opposition. The city's official position was that the county should focus on a future arterial through the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant.

The new plan was just more wasted money for a realignment Anderson predicted would never gain local support.

"I doubt the city council will have any appetite for any of this and certainly won't spend any money on the realignment," he said.

The city's concern with the previous concept was that it harmed the development potential of a 61-acre property rezoned commercial last year.

Anderson said the city's best interest would be to retain the intersection's current 90-degree alignment. If the county insisted on a realignment of Kill Creek Road to the west, the dogleg should be farther south, he said.

By reversing the loop on 95th Street to the south, the new realignment preserves more of the 61 acres to the northwest for development. De Soto city engineer Mike Brungardt said the plan would move Kill Creek Road intersection about 800 feet to the west on 95th Street and place about 5 acres of that property to the east of the Kill Creek dog leg.

The realignment would not allow access to the 61 acres from Kill Creek. But limiting access from 95th Street would be required if the present alignment remained in place. Brungardt said.

The Kansas Department of Transportation, which owns the easement on Kill Creek Road south of Kansas Highway 10 to 95th Street, would not allow access to businesses so close to the freeway, the city engineer said.

One of the reasons the county is committed to the realignment of Kill Creek Road is because it paid for a environmental impact study of the new route earlier this decade, Brungardt told the De Soto Planning Commission last month.

Anderson said that was no reason to stick with a plan harmful to De Soto and that enjoyed no support.

"The county needs to move on," he said. "If the county commission is serious about findings ways to save money, they should stop doing projects nobody wants."

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