US 50 expansion in Dodge deals with historic area

Point of Rocks (KSN File Photo)
Point of Rocks (KSN File Photo)

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) – The expansion of U.S. 50 in southwestern Kansas no longer includes leveling a historic rock formation.

The U.S. 50 expansion from a two-lane road into a four-lane expressway will use a paved 16-foot median as it passes the Point of Rocks formation, which was once used as a navigational aid for travelers and cowboys along the Santa Fe Trail.

The original plan would have leveled the formation.

But the Kansas Department of Transportation considered other options after discussions with groups, including the Santa Fe Trail Association. The 16-foot median, which emerged as a compromise solution, involves cutting into the rock formation and covering the face with a false rock retaining wall made to resemble sandstone.

Construction is expected to begin in 2018.

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