Officials want infrastructure improvements in southern Sedgwick County

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — An effort to improve the southern part of Sedgwick County is underway.

Later today, county officials will present the results from a transportation study that looked at the needs and future growth along the 95th Street corridor to the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WAMPO). This includes the recommendation to build a bridge over the Arkansas River, K-15 and BNSF railway.

The bridge would run on 95th Street South, from Hillside to Woodlawn, as seen in blue. (Courtesy: Sedgwick County engineering)

The bridge would run on 95th Street South, from Hillside to Woodlawn.

The Sedgwick County engineering manager said they looked at different types of infrastructure, but felt the bridge over road and railway would work best.

“One of the things KDOT really likes about that plan is no longer will there be any conflicting turn movements onto K-15,” said Lynn Packer. “All the left turns are taken out with that plan. Everything would be a right-turn movement only.”

Packer said the bridge could cost up to $50 million dollars, and it’d be a 20-to-40 year project.

After presenting this information to planning officials, it would move to Sedgwick County commissioners to approve or not.

“Currently this project sits in WAMPO’s Move 2040 plan as an outlier,” Packer said. “They would need to formally make a request so that’d it be moved into the Transportation Improvement Program, and that we consider looking into future funding for it.”

The proposed 95th Street bridge is just one of three phases to improve the southern part of Sedgwick County.

Phase 2:

  • Broadway and 95th Street turn lanes
  • Hydraulic and 95th Street turn lanes
  • Hillside and 95th Street turn lanes
  • Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) and 95th Street interchange
  • Broadway to KTA interchange 95th Street widening
  • KTA interchange to Hillside 95th Street widening

Phase 3:

  • 95th Street, Hydraulic to Hillside, three lane widening

Future Phases:

  • 95th Street, Greenwich to Woodlawn
  • 95th St Meridian to Broadway

The ARC95 (Arkansas River Crossing – 95th Street South) Study showed a three-phased implementation plan would spur economic and residential growth in the area.

According to the ARC95 Study website, the estimated construction cost is between $90 and $100 million. Funding could come from federal, state or local levels.

The ARC95 Study expands off of a 2008 study called the South Area Transportation Study by WAMPO. It focused on the area from Kellogg and Greenwich, to 95th Street, over to 119th Street and back up to Kellogg. According to officials, it showed that there’s room to improve access and mobility, as this corridor could see more development in the future.

County officials will present the study results, costs and timeline to WAMPO at 3 p.m.