PITTSBURG, Kan. — Over the last handful of months, Highway 69 just north of Pittsburg has been taken about by orange cones and construction zone indicators as the next leg of the long-predicted enlargement of Freeway 69 at last got underway. But it appears to be like the orange cones will be traveling north following Overland Park Town Council approved the building of express toll lanes involving 103rd street and 173rd street in the Johnson County city.
In a 10-2 vote, the council accredited making express toll lanes on every facet of the freeway, with the hope that the lanes will assistance with the major congestion problem the section of the highway has during rush hour.
According to 69Specific, a website created by the Kansas Division of Transportation, Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Metropolis of Overland Park detailing the growth of the part of Highway 69, as a substitute of opting for just increasing the road with more lanes with no tolls, making the express toll lanes — which could demand involving a $.50 and $1.75 for each trip — allows Overland Park financial reduction for the project.
“Kansas has several serious transportation needs that ought to be dealt with, and condition funding is confined,” the website about the project says. “State dollars will be the principal resource of funding to enhance U.S. 69, but community contributions help advance critical assignments more immediately and assistance assure that this kind of projects additional absolutely fulfill community transportation demands.
“Express toll lanes present a funding alternative for Overland Park’s community contribution. As the tolls are collected, that income would reimburse KDOT for the original building financial investment of the new lanes more than the following 20 or 30 years.”
In accordance to the Shawnee Mission Article, the plan now needs to be accredited by the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Point out Finance Council, which includes leaders from the point out legislature and the governor.
If approved by the two entities, perform on developing the toll lanes could start off as early as future calendar year.
In accordance to the Article, growth of Highway 69 is 1 of KDOT’s leading priorities, as the firm has generally said it is the busiest four-lane freeway in the condition, but highway expansion projects can be hard to get off the ground as dwindling state funds have made it more difficult to back massive tasks. However, as funding has dried up “KDOT has pitched cost-sharing partnerships like the express toll lanes strategy proposed for U.S. 69 as a way to expedite long-delayed highway jobs.”
With that in brain, that begs the question of whether toll lanes have been considered for the Crawford County portion of the highway expansion project currently underway. KDOT spokesperson Priscilla Petersen explained they were not.
“As you know, two U.S. 69 enlargement jobs are at present beneath design in Crawford County,” Petersen said. “Adding a toll lane to these two sections was not deemed or proposed throughout the planning system, to my information.”
Blake Benson, Freeway 69 Association representative and President of the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce reported toll roadways have never ever come up in discussion when talking about the southeast Kansas expansion of the highway, including that he applauded the attempts of Overland Park and KDOT and thought incorporating the tolls was a superior marker of development.
“I think it’s a indication of continued expansion on one particular of the state’s primary north-south corridors,” Benson claimed. “I believe KDOT is accomplishing a extremely good position at working with nearby communities to come up with methods that perform for that certain region.
“We’re in discussions with them [KDOT] about how to development the southern conclude of the 69 Freeway corridor and I really applaud them and Overland Park officers for coming to this arrangement.”
Asked his feelings on the Overland Park toll, Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall said it did not affect the Pittsburg place.
Jordan Meier is a reporter for the Morning Sunlight. She can be attained a [email protected]