Proposed Meridian Improvements
WICHITA, Kan.-- Road and drainage improvements are expected to help people on Meridian, from McCormick to Pawnee.
"It's about time," said Timothy Smith, barber at Legends Barber Shop. "South-side's probably due for a few improvements in this area, especially Meridian."
Today, the City of Wichita approved $350,000 in bond funding for right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, Transportation Improvement Program fees, supplemental design costs, future construction costs, and engineering staff and administration costs for this project.
Since 2005, the City has been planning for paving improvements along Meridian. In 2011, the project was selected for federal funding, which the City was previously obligated to fund.
"It's been a long time coming over the course of eight years trying to get to this point," said Gary Janzen, assistant director for Public Works and Utilities. "The drainage is the most critical part of it. It had to happen before we could do anything with the paving."
The first phase of the project was for drainage improvements. Construction began in May for a culvert from the Arkansas River through Dora Street to Meridian. The $7-million dollar drainage project will be completed in Spring 2014.
"It's going to serve a big area, even more than just Meridian. It'll take some pressure off of the system in Pawnee, so it'll allow that area down there to drain better at the same times," said Janzen.
The proposed Meridian improvements include the following: expansion of the existing four-lane roadway to a five-lane roadway with a center left turn lane, drainage improvements, new sidewalk along both sides of Meridian, realignment of Orient at Meridian to improve accessibility, and waterline improvements to serve surrounding residential neighborhoods.
Construction for the $7-million paving project is expected to begin in 2015.