KDOT Hosts First Round of Public Open Houses
In January 2015, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) hosted the first set of public open houses to gather input regarding the Route 92 Centennial Bridge Study. The open houses were held the evenings of January 14 at the Platte County Community Center and January 15 at the Riverfront Community Center in Leavenworth. Approximately 140 citizens attended the open houses. KDOT and the study team members presented maps and general information to help inform attendees and answer their questions. Eighty-eight citizens provided written comments on an open-ended comment form designed to gather general input. The majority of written comments focused on tolling, bicycle/pedestrian accommodations, and general preferences on the construction of a replacement bridge.
Of the written comments received, about half mentioned support for bicycle/pedestrian accommodations to be included on a new bridge. As a result, the bridge concept moving forward will include a 10-foot shared-use path on one side of the bridge with a concrete safety barrier between the path and vehicular lanes. Specifics such as a funded plan for connectivity to existing trails, maintenance of the shared-use path, and potential need for cost sharing will be determined with the cooperation of local government â€“ Platte County, Leavenworth County and the City of Leavenworth.
Of those who provided written comments regarding tolling, about half expressed concerns and the other half indicated they could be in favor of tolling with some conditions. Conditions cited included reasonable rates, compatibility with current K-TAG system, keeping tolling revenue local, using tolling as a last resort, and the suggestion to start tolling now. Those who questioned the implementation of tolling to fund the bridge cited reasons such as cost to residents and commuters, affect on where retirees and military choose to live, and negative impact on small businesses and federal employees.
Of those who made general comments about the bridge, there was significant support for a new four-lane structure located roughly in the same location. A recurring request was to keep the bridge open to traffic during the construction of a new bridge.
In addition to comments received at the public open houses and via email, the study team is meeting with area representatives of local governments and other stakeholder groups for input. For additional information, visit the KDOT Kansas City Metro Area Projects & Studies page.