Business owners get details of East Kellogg expansion

WICHITA, Kansas – The east Kellogg expansion project will make Kellogg four lanes in both directions from Webb Road to K-96. It will cost $345 million dollars. The city of Wichita is paying the largest portion, $145 million. The Kansas Turnpike Authority and K-DOT will split the remaining costs.

A local stone landscaping business owner who has been planning for four years to move to a new and improved location less than a mile down Kellogg just found out his land won’t be used for his new business. Instead, the Kansas Department of Transportation needs his 10 acre site to finish the second phase of the East Kellogg expansion project

The second phase includes the work to east of Greenwich. Project leaders hope to have that started by the summer of 2016. But the timeline is dependent on the acquisition of about 50 right of way properties the state needs to acquire before moving forward.

The timeline for everything is to be complete is 2019.

Nazir Jesri had high hopes for Absolute Stones. His four year plan to move less than a mile down Kellogg is nearly complete. But all that work could be for naught.

The problem, the site lies where the Kansas Turnpike Authority plans to build ramps from the turnpike to Kellogg and needs Jesri’s property.

“Construction in the past has put people out of business there are several businesses that I know that moved once or more they ended up losing their customer base and ultimately they went out of business,” Jesri said.

Jesri is one of dozens of business owners at a meeting hosted by project leaders to hear about the details.

Under the original plan work would be underway, but when bids came back too pricey in January, organizers returned to the drawing board. They began figuring out how to complete both phases of the $345 million dollar project.

“It really came to light that this makes a lot of sense to look at the future and what this can really do for the whole corridor,” said Wichita Engineer Gary Janzen.

Work will begin on the busiest intersection in Wichita, Webb and Kellogg next year. According to a recent traffic study, between 60,000 and 70,000 cars pass through that intersection every day. That number is expected to more than double by 2020.

City leaders say moving up the timeline on the second phase saves nearly $20 million dollars in inflation costs alone.

“I think it’s being very prudent and responsible in the financial aspect,” said city council member Pete Meitzner.

As for Jesri, it’s back to the drawing board for him as well after disappointing news his site will become state property.

The second phase includes the work to east of Greenwich. Project leaders hope to have that started by the summer of 2016. But the timeline is dependent on the acquisition of about 50 right of way properties the state needs to acquire before moving forward.

 

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