Suggestions for improving access in south Sedgwick Co. up for public comment again

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Traffic access for south Sedgwick County has been identified as an issue over the last few years.

Currently, 95th Street South, a popular road that extends through both Derby and Haysville, is cut off where it meets the BNSF railroad and the Arkansas River.

The ARC95 Study looks at solutions to the problem that might also alleviate traffic in other areas of the southern Sedgwick County.

KSN talked with Dan Squires, Derby’s city engineer, about the proposed project and how it might help the community.

“The enthusiasm for the project has been strong,” Squires said. “People really see the need for the project.”

So far, two rounds of public meetings have been held to gather public input and feedback. Without that public interest, the project likely wouldn’t go forward, according to Jim Howell, Sedgwick County commissioner for District V.

But that’s not the case, he said. The public meetings have shown interest and growing support for solving the traffic issue.

Some suggested solutions include 95th Street going over or under K-15 and the BNSF railroad or a possible four-way intersection at the railroad before reaching a bridge over the Arkansas River.

Another suggestion involves the possibility of turnpike access at 95th Street.

As of right now, the ARC95 Study is still very much in the idea stage, Howell said. So far, there is no final cost solution.

“Something of that magnitude, it’s really important to be really thoughtful and scientific and analytical and let the public be a part of that discussion so that we can actually make the best decisions going forward,” Howell said.

A final round of public meetings kicks off Thursday night before developers take the feedback and look forward to solutions.

“This is, in my opinion, a very important step to kind of push this project into the next phase of fund development, how are we going to fund it, what grants are we going to go after, coordination with the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WAMP),” Howell said.

The final round of public meetings begin Thursday from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the Derby Public Library. Another meeting will take place Tuesday, May 16 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the Haysville Community Library.

“As the final meeting it’s really an opportunity to present to the public and other people what was found out,” Squires said. “Where all of the work in the previous meetings and the input that they provided, what they developed into and what the plan is moving forward.”

You can continue to leave feedback on the project here.