Topeka, Kan. – The Chamber, City of Lawrence, Douglas County, and the University of Kansas presented a united front today during a Kansas Department of Transportation consult meeting in Topeka. The regional meetings hosted by KDOT are opportunities for stakeholders to share transportation priorities with the department to help shape the future of transportation in Kansas. The Lawrence delegation focused on the South Lawrence Trafficway, the Lawrence Loop, the Lawrence Municipal Airport, bridges, and other infrastructure needs.
“The west leg expansion of the South Lawrence Trafficway is our highest priority,” said Bonnie Lowe, President and CEO of The Chamber. “The Chamber has convened local partners, both public and private entities, met with elected officials at the federal level, and is engaging other communities that could benefit from an expansion to help advance the timeline of this project.”
Lowe also said there will be an exploration of federal grant opportunities and other innovative ways to contribute local funding to help leverage the state’s investment dollars for the SLT expansion.
Douglas County Commissioner Nancy Thellman spoke to safety issues on the SLT, including the intersection of K-10 and Wakarusa Drive, which has been the site of 34 accidents between 2016 and 2018 following the completion of the east leg of the road.
Lisa Larsen, Mayor of the City of Lawrence, highlighted priorities that would provide partnership opportunities with KDOT, including improvements to the US. Highways 40 and 59 bridges over the Kansas River to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, help completing the Lawrence Loop, pavement improvements to the Lawrence Municipal Airport, and intelligent transportation system improvements along the Iowa Street/U.S. 59 corridor between 23rd Street and K-10.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work in partnership to present these important projects to KDOT, as we believe they have the power to provide significant benefit to our community,” said Larsen. “These projects will contribute greatly to our safety and overall healthy lifestyle.”
The entities included in the delegation will continue to work together to advocate on behalf of the Lawrence and Douglas County communities on transportation projects and other opportunities that would benefit citizens.
About The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas
The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas, is a non-for-profit organization that promotes the economic vitality of Lawrence and Douglas County. The Chamber represents the interests of our members and the Lawrence & Douglas County business community by facilitating strategic partnerships for the benefit of our community, educating the community on the benefits of economic development, advocating for local and regional competitive economic viability, and promoting civic leadership and community engagement.