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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Bridge work continuing

  • The Kansas Department of Transportation Tuesday announced a daylong closure of the Centennial Bridge in Leavenworth next July 26, but officials at the state are also reportedly working toward a much larger project.
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  • The Kansas Department of Transportation Tuesday announced a daylong closure of the Centennial Bridge in Leavenworth next Friday, but officials at the state are also reportedly working toward a much larger project.
    Last week KDOT officials confirmed that a study was ongoing for a new bridge over the Missouri River in Leavenworth. The bridge, which carries traffic on Kansas Highway 92 over the Missouri River and completed in 1954, was the subject of a rehabilitation project in 2011 and 2012 and received funding for a preliminary engineering study in 2011 as part of the T-WORKS comprehensive transportation plan, a study that was designed to explore the potential of tolls as a funding mechanism.
    “We had kind of looked at it just kind of conceptually, including the opportunity to toll some new structure to help pay for a new structure,” said Jerry Younger, deputy state secretary of transportation last Friday. “We got through that and now we're beginning the development of that project, really the location, scope of that work.”
    According to Jim Pickett, area engineer for KDOT, an informational meeting for a new study is scheduled for later this month with consultant selection to follow. He said that study is expected to take about three years. Pickett said because that work is yet to be completed, many details on what that bridge will look like remain to be determined. But transportation officials do have some ideas ― that tolling could likely become its funding source, for one, in addition to how much traffic the bridge could be built to accommodate.
    “Preliminarily, we kind of think four-lane makes sense,” Pickett said.
    But Younger said construction might not follow the completion of that study immediately.
    “We have been pretty up front with this ― we have not committed any money toward construction of the bridge,” he said. “We know at some point we're going to have to replace that bridge.”
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