To the editor:
Kansas Representative John Bradford is to be commended for assembling representatives from multiple county and city governments as well as from the offices of U.S. Senators and from both KDOT and MODOT, including the Kansas secretary of transportation and the speaker pro-tem of the Kansas House of Representatives to discuss a new four-lane roadway west of Lansing and Leavenworth.
This idea, as he said, has been around for a long time. Now, we finally have someone who is determined to turn the idea into a reality by capitalizing on the transportation needs of the new intermodal in Edgerton as well as the economic needs of the region. The leaders at Friday's meeting spent almost three hours focusing on the economic needs of Leavenworth and the need for an outer beltway for Kansas City.
Comments during the meeting highlighted some of the problems to be overcome but they also emphasized the rapidly emerging need for this road. Secretary of Transportation Mike King made it clear that the project is outside of the T Works Plan, but also said it deserves prioritization and that he wants to work with his counterparts in Missouri to explore it further.
The biggest challenge is financing and tolling was presented as a possible solution. Trucks going to and from the intermodal could pay for a substantial part of the road in order to avoid the time delays of driving through Kansas City. The road would also relieve much of the anticipated increase of traffic on already crowded I- 70, I-35, and I-29 within Kansas City. This idea has many beneficiaries and the time to act on it is now – in order to support the growth of the intermodal and the growth of Leavenworth County.
Rep. Bradford since last December has made a number of visits with the Department of Transportation as well as with government and business leaders in Kansas and Missouri to prepare them for this meeting. He has been energetic and responsive in attempting to include as many concerned persons as possible. Leavenworth and Lansing can be proud of the work that their representative is doing on their behalf and on behalf of Kansas and the metro region. He working to make the future better for everyone.
This idea deserves a strong advocate – in fact it deserves more advocates and the leaders of the surrounding communities as well as those in Topeka, Jefferson City, and Washington DC seem to be coming into agreement on that.