Roadwork makes heading into city from airport an adventure

By Paul Harris

Roadwork in and around the airport has made getting in and out of there difficult. Drivers leaving the airport for Manhattan are especially challenged because they are forced to turn right and head west before making several turns to head back east.

After leaving the airport, there are several signs directing travelers on the nearly 10-mile journey back to Manhattan. Travelers can turn left on to Skyway Drive, and then take another left on K-114, before either looping around back on to K-18 East or taking a right and driving to I-70.

Drivers also may take a right at Wildcat Creek Road and take it to Eureka Drive, where drivers may make another right and head to Scenic Drive. Drivers can turn left on Scenic Drive and take it all the way Anderson Avenue to head back to town.

Manhattan Regional Airport Director Peter Van Kuren said he has received few complaints about the construction and that has mostly been regarding the signs, or lack thereof.

Spokesperson for Kansas Department of Transportation Kimberly Qualls, said KDOT does not expect to put any more signs up.

No one has missed a flight or not gotten to the airport on time because of the construction as far he knows, Van Kuren said.

In order to accommodate the airport’s travelers, Van Kuren said there is a large map at the terminal’s exit, which details the construction and shows the alternate routes. The airport also provides hand-held maps to its rental car companies.

“We had the maps out a couple days before that to just have people familiar,” Van Kuren said.

There is also an orange construction sign on the airport’s website,, detailing the construction.

KDOT is going to replace a culvert underneath the airport’s entrance in May or early June. Construction workers will work on one half of the entrance before switching sides. Drivers will exit and enter on the airport’s eastside and then once that is completed, drivers will exit and enter on the airport’s westside. Construction should be completed by November, Van Kuren said.

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