During a work session held Wednesday morning, the Bourbon County Commission met with Kansas Department of Transportation employee Darrin Petrowsky to look over plans for the Highway 69 widening project and ask questions.
The commissioners looked at plans for the six-mile project in Bourbon County, specifically asking questions about new and existing access roads. Commissioners said they had received questions from residents asking if they would still be able to access or cross the highway at existing points, and Petrowsky said they would.
Commissioners also asked how those roads would be paved, with gravel or asphalt, since they will be given to the county for maintenance upon completion.
“Our major concern is what we’re going to have to maintain,” commission chairman Lynne Oharah said, pointing out the county may not have the funds to keep up with another asphalt road.
Petrowski said there is one section of access road that will be asphalt, due to its need for curbing and gutters to help with drainage. Petrowski said he would pass along the commissioners’ request for it to be gravel, but added he did not believe the plan could be changed.
“Anything’s better than what we have right now,” Oharah said of the overall project, saying he currently does not feel comfortable driving that highway at night.
Work has begun on the project, but Petrowsky said it has slowed because of the recent rains. The project is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 16, 2018, with cleaning, striping and other tasks fully completed by the following March. During that time, travelers should be alert to workers and shifting lanes, though two lanes will always be available.
“It’ll be a great highway for Bourbon County,” public works Director Jim Harris said.
Petrowsky said the continuation of the four lanes into Crawford County has been delayed indefinitely until the funding is available, despite the plans already being drawn.