Kansas one approval away from OK for new highway

| 1/6/2004

Two groups of local elected officials have agreed to a plan that would widen 23 miles of a Kansas highway into a divided four-lane route, The Hutchinson News reported Dec. 31.

The project would widen the current two-lane state Highway 61, which runs from I-135 in McPherson southwest to Hutchinson. The new interstate-style road would create a new link among the I-70, U.S. 50 and U.S. 54 corridors, all of which are used by significant numbers of trucks.

The News reported that the county commissions in Reno and McPherson counties approved the plan Dec. 30. The new road would be completely contained within the two counties.

In addition, the two largest cities on the route, McPherson and Hutchinson, have approved the plan, the newspaper said. Only the small town of Inman, which lies halfway along the proposed highway, has yet to approve the plan. If all five governments sign on, work on the new road should start in 2009 and take about three years.