Officials look for solutions to K-7 truck crashes

GIRARD — Following a series of recent semi truck accidents on K-7 highway north of Girard, county officials are looking for solutions to the problem. Between the state agency responsible for maintaining the road, the truck drivers themselves and possibly the navigation systems or phone apps they are using, it is difficult to say who bears the most responsibility for the wrecks.

South of Girard, K-7 has shoulder on either side of the road, but north of town the road narrows, with no shoulder and ditches on both sides, leaving “no room for error” for motorists and especially for truckers driving on the road, Crawford County Sheriff Danny Smith said this week.

At last Friday’s Crawford County Commission meeting, County Counselor Jim Emerson said he had discussed the problem with George Dockery, area engineer with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

“I told him that we were interested in seeing if there was anything we could do regarding K-7,” Emerson said.

Dockery told him the governor’s office has now been told about the issue, Emerson said.

A $46 million expansion of K-7 from Girard to the county’s northern border, however, is already a project included in the state’s recently approved 10-year transportation program, Emerson said, and county officials stressed the importance of the project at a meeting with KDOT officials in Pittsburg last October. A $42 million expansion of the highway on the Bourbon County side of the county line is also included in the 10-year plan.