With brisk residential development increasing traffic flow, Pottawatomie County commissioners Monday gave tentative approval to upgrading Green Valley Road in the southwest portion of the county.
Commissioners authorized Leu Lowrey, public works director, to proceed with a design contract for the roadway improvements north of U.S. Highway 24, east of Manhattan.
The proposed improvements include construction of a third lane beginning at the Flint Hills Christian School; realignment of the intersection with Elk Creek Road about 100 feet south to improve sight distance; rehabilitating the deck and adding a pedestrian walkway to the west side of the bridge just north of Elk Creek Road; continue the three lanes north of the bridge to the end of the current pavement of Green Valley Road.
“Green Valley Road is carrying between 5,000 and 7,000 vehicles a day, and that’s a lot of traffic,” Lowrey told commissioners. “With all the development going on up there, anything we can do to improve Green Valley Rd. is going to be beneficial in the long run.”
Lowrey estimated the cost of the project at $750,000, which can be funded entirely with federal funds received by the county through the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Commissioners also recommended that Lowrey pursue either purchasing right-of-way or the entire two lots in the Green Valley Business Park on the east side of Green Valley Road. Right-of-way on the lots, owned by the Pott County Economic Development Corporation, would be necessary when Green Valley Rd. is eventually widened to Highway 24.
“We could get the right-of-way for nothing if we handled it right,” said Commissioner Pat Weixelman, noting that the county could later sell the lots —minus the right-of-way — to a private entity. “Spending a little money in the next three or four months could save us a lot of money in the next four or five years.”
Lowrey said he would return with a design contract for the project in three or four weeks.
In other business Monday, the commission:
•Approved a low bid of $435,385 from Manhattan Trenching for streets, water and sewer improvements for Unit 2 in the Whispering Meadows Subdivision. The commission also approved the final plat for the development and the developeršs letter of credit.
•Set a bid opening for 10:30 a.m. June 3, for interior improvements for Unit 2 of Nelson’s Ridge Subdivision.
•Approved a letter of credit and developer’s agreement for Blackjack Estates Subdivision southeast of the intersection of Flush Rd. and John Scott Rd.
Commissioner Stan Hartwich abstained from voting due a possible conflict of interest.
•Accepted a low bid from Bennington State Bank, Wamego, for lease-purchase financing for fire trucks for Fire District 4 ($10,000) and Fire District 10 ($24,000).
Bennington’s bid was 1.3 percent for the $10,000 note and 1.55 percent for the $24,000 note.
Kaw Valley State Bank of Wamego also submitted a bid.
•Proclaimed May as Mental Health Month in Pottawatomie County at the request of Audrey Schremmer-Philip, a board member of Pawnee Mental Health Services.