Dangerous stretch of Kansas highway to get improvements after crashes

Posted: Updated:
Truck crash near Sedan on April 30 feet from a cross in memory of a woman killed in a crash on April 19 Truck crash near Sedan on April 30 feet from a cross in memory of a woman killed in a crash on April 19
Kristen Turner (meaningfulfunerals.net) Kristen Turner (meaningfulfunerals.net)
Fatal crash near Sedan on April 28, 2019 happened feet from a cross in memory of a woman killed 10 days earlier (Chautauqua County Times) Fatal crash near Sedan on April 28, 2019 happened feet from a cross in memory of a woman killed 10 days earlier (Chautauqua County Times)
Terence Leiker (downingandlahey.com) Terence Leiker (downingandlahey.com)
SEDAN, Kan. (KAKE) -

Kansas transportation officials say millions of dollars in federal funds will be used to make improvements to a stretch of highway where two people died in crashes just days apart earlier this year.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office said KDOT met with local leaders on Wednesday to announce that over $7 million was being released to widen K-99 from Sedan to the Elk County line. 

On April 30, a box truck overturned and came to rest just feet from where a cross stood in memory of 18-year-old Kristen Turner, of Andover, who died 11 days prior. Nine days after her death, a crash in the same area killed 57-year-old Terence Leiker of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Photos taken after the box truck accident showed that the section of highway has no shoulder and there's steep drop-off into the ditch. 

Sheriff Richard Newby told KAKE News in the spring that this area of K-99 has been a problem for years. He believes so many overlays have caused the roadway to become taller and narrower. 

State Rep. Doug Blex and Jim Beason, booster for the improvements, said the project will come in two stages. The first will add slopes in the shoulder ditching near Quivira Road. It'll be done next spring.

Crews will also add delineators along the 14-mile route to help mark highway edges.

"But the biggest news came with news that a fast-track has been placed on widening the entire 14 miles by six feet — three feet on each side, plus 3-to-1 slopes in shoulder ditches to eliminate total drop-offs," the sheriff's office said on Facebook. "The existing asphalt will be milled down before the highway is widened."

A public meeting will be held this fall in Sedan where KDOT officials will release details on the bigger project, which will take less than two years to complete.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

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