Construction Concerns

By: Michelle Rosel
By: Michelle Rosel

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Traffic accidents in west Wichita detoured hundreds of drivers, and even sent one police officer to the hospital Wednesday morning. Just before seven, in the construction near Kellogg and Maize, two people were hurt when the driver of a car ran a red light and collided with a pickup. Police had to re-route traffic off of Kellogg. A police officer directing traffic at Maple and Maize was hit.

The officer suffered only minor injuires. Police worked yet another crash in the same area a short time later. The accidents are the latest headache for people who drive and work in the area.

The other concern is the Kellogg expansion. Police aren't necessarily feeing more accidents because of construction, but they are seeing more congestion. Retail workers who work along the highway and those who drive it to work every day say they're getting sick of it.

With all the signs, sometimes it's hard to know exactly where and where not to go, that is if you're moving at all. Driver David Owings said, "I come through Tyler and Kellogg exit every day. Sometimes you wait 30 to 40 minutes just depending on traffic flow."

If you feel like chicken, Owings says there's no longer an obvious entrance to KFC. The owner says she's lost almost all of her business.

Drivers and store workers say they were expecting these problems but are already ready for it to be over. The city says the expansion won't be finished until November, 2004. That's still two years away.

So far this year, police have worked 44 accidents on Kellogg between Tyler and Maize. That's actually down from 55 accidents last year.


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