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County Looks Ahead To The Future Of Wichita Roads

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May 26, 2010

"I think they ought to finish Kellogg."

Now, that’s a commonly shared opinion when it comes to what road projects are important to local residents.

"I would like to see them get Kellogg as a pass through for this city."

Sedgwick County Commissioners get briefed on the 25 year plan of the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

They’re told Wichita area drivers can expect up to 400 new transportation projects completed over the next quarter century. Of course, some are small, some large projects.

"I think there will be renewed emphasis on getting Kellogg funded and completed," John Schlegel, Wichita Area Metro. Planning Organization said.

Local leaders say they must have road plans for the next 25 years in order to qualify for federal funding. The Wichita region gets $11-12 million annually in federal highway dollars. We all have ideas where that money should be spent.

"Well, the Kellogg, 235 Interchange has been a death trap.”

That’s an opinion experts agree with.

"And these are high cost projects,” Schlegel said. “Another example would be the interchange at 235 and Kellogg, which is in need of upgrading."

Improving that interchange has been in road plans for decades. The last cost estimate for a fix is about $100 million.

"It's an old system,” Schlegel said. “It needs to be totally tore out and redone."

Local leaders are also concerned about what they call the city’s north gate, where I-135, K-96 and I-235 come together. Perhaps in 25 years, there’ll be a new northwest bypass too.

"Now, these are very expensive projects so people are going to have to be patient," Schlegel said.

Schlegel says Wichita, will keep growing and says if leaders don’t plan for it, the roads won’t keep up with the traffic.

Public comments are being accepted until June 18th on the transportation plan.

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