When they met Monday, Leavenworth County commissioners discussed a proposal for what is being called the Patriot Highway.

When they met Monday, Leavenworth County commissioners discussed a proposal for what is being called the Patriot Highway.

If constructed, the six-lane toll road would serve as an outer beltway for the Kansas City area. The highway would pass through Leavenworth County and four other counties.

The proposal calls for the road to be constructed through a private-public partnership with Via Maris Consulting Group securing financing for the project.

A memorandum of understanding between the county government and the Delaware-based Via Maris Consulting Group had been prepared ahead of Monday's meeting for commissioners to consider.

Commissioners took no vote on the memorandum of understanding Monday. They asked John Bradford, a consultant for Via Maris, to arrange for public meetings to provide information about the proposal for the highway.

Commission Chairman Doug Smith said he heard from a lot of people over the weekend who had concerns about the project.

Commissioner Bob Holland said he also received emails and phone calls regarding the project.

Several members of the public who attended Monday’s meeting spoke in opposition to the highway.

Among those voicing opposition was Patrick Vielhauer, who said he moved to Leavenworth County 15 years ago to get away from the hustle and bustle of Johnson County.

Wendy Scheidt, who owns two farms in Leavenworth County, questioned why public meetings have not taken place.

Janette Labbee-Holdeman spoke in favor of the project, arguing it will help with growth in the county.

Bradford, who previously represented a portion of Leavenworth County in the Kansas House of Representatives, said the road would pass through portions of Miami, Johnson and Leavenworth counties in Kansas and Platte and Cass counties in Missouri.

Plans call for the highway to run north and south on the east side of Stranger Creek in Leavenworth County. The highway would cross into Platte County in the area of McIntyre Road.

Bradford said the highway would be heated and have embedded wi-fi. It also would have recharging capabilities for electric vehicles.

“It will be the latest state-of-the art technology,” he said.

He said developers also envision a light rail system being constructed along the side of the highway.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the county would assist in acquiring the necessary right-of-way if Via Maris is unable to obtain easements through market-rate offers.

Bradford said the county government would be reimbursed for its expenses.

Holland said he did not support using eminent domain on behalf of a private company.

“I don’t think the county should get into condemnation for private parties,” he said.

Smith asked Bradford if he would be opposed to having a public meeting in the Tonganoxie or Basehor area. Smith said Bradford could provide the public with information about the proposed route for the highway.

County Administrator Mark Loughry suggested a series of meetings for the Lansing, Basehor and Tonganoxie communities.

Former County Commissioner Louis Klemp, who regularly attends commission meetings, said he is not totally against the proposal. He said a bypass road is needed somewhere.

“I think it’s a unique idea,” he said.

He said there are a lot of questions about the project.

Commissioner Clyde Graeber said he would like for the county’s legal and engineering staff members to brief the commission on the possible benefits and problems that could result from the project.

“I don’t want to move forward until I have that meeting,” he said.

Graeber said this briefing should take place before the public meetings.

Bradford later said he plans to schedule a public meeting in Lansing and another in Tonganoxie. He plans to have the meetings in late June or early to mid July.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR