KDOT plans meetings for K-4 highway project
by Dennis Sharkey
The Kansas Department of Transportation will be visiting town halls in Jefferson County this summer.
KDOT officials will be seeking comments from the public about a plan for major changes to K-4 Highway north of U.S. 24 Highway.
Officials met with Jefferson County Commissioners on Monday to give some preliminary details of the plan.
The major changes to the plan would be to make K-4 a two-lane expressway with limited access points. The project would extend north to 54th Street.
The plan would also make changes to two important interchanges and roundabouts would be utilized as part of the plan.
Two roundabouts would be constructed at 46th Street. KDOT engineer Curt Neuhaus said the roundabouts are utilized in the plan because the amount of right-of-way that would have to be purchased would be minimized. The roundabouts would also be a safety improvement.
A negative aspect of the plan is the interchange at U.S. 24 Highway. Southbound travelers will see little difference from the old design to the new design but westbound travelers will have some inconvenience in trying to connect northbound on K-4.
Neuhaus said there is a trade-off between convenience and safety.
“It’s a little different than what we do,” Neuhaus said.
In Shawnee County 31st Street, 35th Street and 39th Street would all have access across K-4 cut off.
Most of the right-of-way for the project has already been purchased.
Neuhaus said the timetable for the project is unknown. Currently there are no funds for the project. However, he said the department wanted to be proactive if money does become available.
“At some point in the future, we hope money becomes available,” Neuhaus said. “Our goal is to have a project on the table in case the federal government says you got to have projects ready to go.”
In other actions:
• County Planning and Zoning Director Bill Noll reported that building permits for new home construction are not keeping pace with last year but are still ahead of two years ago.
Permits are down to 28 from 32 last year but are still eight more than 2010.
Although the total number of permits has decreased the average cost per home shot up $100,000 to $207,000 from $107,000 last year. Noll said the spike is due to two homes constructed last year with values of $475,000 and $650,000.
Noll said his numbers indicate that people are building fewer new homes but permits of all kinds are up significantly. He said more people are adding to existing homes or building sheds.
Cases filed with the Planning and Zoning office are also significantly up.
• Delia Heston, recorder, said the office’s recordings are up 20 percent from last year and revenues are outpacing last year by 30 percent.
Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=12635