S P I R I T of 54
Southwest Passage Initiative for Regional and Interstate Transportation
John Prather Corporate Relations Manager with Groendyke Transport presented an in-depth report about freight hauling on 4-lane highways verses on 2-lane highways. Oversize and overweight loads are becoming more frequent causing gridlock on 2-lane highways such as the highways most common in Southwest Kansas and other areas on U.S. Highway 54.
Kelly Kirk,Liberal, KS Fire Chief presented a moving presentation about the frequency of vehicles going left of center causing terrible accidents. He then related the personal difficulties emergency responders encounter when called to the scene of a vehicle accident. He said, "Some things you see you can never unsee".
Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary, Mike King told about the prioritizing available funds for all the projects requested and needed throughout the state of Kansas. He related the good news about the 10 mile 4-lane project from Liberal going northeast on U.S. Highway 54. This project will start in spring of 2016.
Larry Thompson, KDOT District 6 Engineer, reports good news about progress on U.S. Highway 54 in Kansas and plans for an additional 10 miles four-lane project from Liberal East, beginning in January 2016. About 30 miles of four-lane has been built - or will be completed in early 2015 - from Kingman to Pratt, Kansas.
David Howard, City Manager of Pratt, Kansas shows the amount of four lane construction that has been done between Kingman and Pratt and the future plan to build relief routes around both cities. This would then connect them with Wichita with four-lanes for safety and more efficiency for travelers
Ron McDaniel, ODOT Division Engineer, tells about the plans that Oklahoma has for extending the four-lanes across the Panhandle. He reviewed the five-lane route to be built starting in January 2016 through the town of Tyrone plus four-lanes at the East and West ends of this construction.