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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Bridge location study announced

  • While a new Centennial Bridge may be years away, a Leavenworth city official sees a state announcement about a location study as a good sign.
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  • While a new Centennial Bridge may be years away, a Leavenworth city official sees a state announcement about a location study as a good sign.
    “It shows some positive progress on this project,” City Manager Scott Miller.
    City officials support a wider bridge across the Missouri River than the existing Centennial Bridge as part of an effort to improve access between the city of Leavenworth and Kansas City International Airport.
    According to Miller, widening the bridge could be achieved through the construction of a second bridge that runs parallel to the existing one or with a wider replacement bridge.
    A Kansas Department of Transportation location study for the Centennial Bridge was one of a number preliminary engineering projects announced Tuesday by Gov. Sam Brownback and Transportation Secretary Mike King.
    “While these projects aren’t programmed for construction now, it’s important that we always have projects in the pipeline,” King said in a news release.
    Kimberly Qualls, Northeast Kansas public affairs manager for KDOT, said the preliminary engineering project gets “plans on the shelf” for if and when funding is available to proceed.
    “They’ll look at all the options, alternatives,” she said.
    Miller called the study the next step, and this places the project in a queue.
    He said an expanded bridge likely won’t come before 2020 because of an existing multi-year Transportation Works program that already is in place for the state.
    He said a five-county regional transportation study does include the widening of the bridge as a project for the 2020-2030 period.
    On the Missouri side, officials with Platte County and Platte City support improvements to Missouri 92 between the Centennial Bridge and Interstate 29, which leads to the airport, according to Miller.
    Despite the study, Qualls said the existing Centennial Bridge is structurally sound, noting that a repair project recently was completed on the bridge.
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