Pottawatomie County assessing flood damage to roads; awaiting KDOT approval to solicit Hwy 24 construction bids

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Pottawatomie County Public Works Director Peter Clark presents a map of some of the flooded county roads to commissioners Monday morning. Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN

WESTMORELAND, Kan. — A wet spring has taken its toll on the roads in Pottawatomie County.

High water levels at Tuttle Creek Reservoir have inundated several county roads with water over the last two months. Public Works Director Peter Clark spoke about recent flooding during the Pottawatomie County Commission Monday. In particular, he says last week’s heavy rains impacted numerous county roads including the bridge over the Vermillion River on Jim Creek Road.

      Clark flood

Gov. Laura Kelly added Pottawatomie County to a growing list of Kansas counties under a state of disaster declaration. That went into effect on May 10 and also includes nearby Geary County. Clark says his office is in the process of tagging service requests to areas hardest hit by flooding. Clark says thankfully no bridges were compromised from flooding. However there has been significant damage which occurred on a culvert along Pauling Run Road near Forrester Road.

      Clark culvert

The road closure is not causing any major disruptions to traffic flow as Forrester Road still has access to Highway 99 both to the south of Pauling Run Road and to the north via West Union Road.

Pott County awaiting green light on Hwy 24 construction projects

From left to right: Pottawatomie County Commissioners Pat Weixelman, Travis Altenhofen and Dee McKee, County Administrator Robert Reece and County Clerk Nancy McCarter. Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN

Orange cone season is just around the corner and Public Works crews are going to be busy especially in southwestern Pottawatomie County.

At Monday’s meeting, Clark said they had hoped to be out to bid soon for projects along Hwy 24 near Green Valley Road and Crown C. However, the Kansas Department of Transportation has not given the county the green light to advertise for bids at this point. Clark expressed optimism that KDOT could green light those projects later this week.

      Clark bids

The goal for bid opening is before July 1, the beginning of the new state fiscal year. Bidding would be solicited for 30 days. Another road project that is close to bidding is on Limerick Lane, a frontage road south of Highway 24 east of Blue Township. A portion is for sewer improvements in that area.

      Clark frontage road

KDOT has already committed the money to Pottawatomie County for the projects which are slated to begin sometime this summer.

Pottawatomie County officials stress neutrality as Green Valley cost and benefits study comes together

Surveys are being drafted by neighborhoods in the Green Valley area of Pottawatomie County as the area grapples with the possibility of incorporation or annexation into Manhattan.

Assistant Planner/Zoning Enforcement Officer Stephan Metzger spoke to commissioners Tuesday that he’s received more emails in the past week after county officials attended the Manhattan City Commission meeting. At that meeting commissioner Pat Weixelman discussed his support for the city to do a cost and benefits study to give residents more information. Metzger says there’s been some public perception that Pottawatomie County is trying to sway residents into making a decision, which he says isn’t the case.

      Metzger-neutrality

Metzger says neighborhoods are starting to gather feedback from residents in the form of community surveys.

      Metzger-surveys

A comprehensive study would assess current service and infrastructure deficits and evaluates taxation changes that would be needed for annexation or incorporation. A tentative timeline has the study being completed by November.

Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN

 

 

 

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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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