Kansas Expressway Expansion Draws Residential Concern

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SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield road expansion plan in the works for decades could be facing another obstacle. 

South Kansas Expressway comes to a halt at Republic Road, and Greene County is looking to expand that stretch of road further south.

The Greene County Highway Department has looked at ways to connect Kansas Expressway near the Greene and Christain County line while working around housing developments. 

Adam Humphrey with the Greene County Highway Department explains where a current dead end would keep going.

“This is a project that has been around for more than thirty years within Greene County. The goal of the project is to extend the Kansas Expressway corridor from where it terminates today at Republic Road — continue it a couple miles to the south,” says Humphrey.

Humphrey says it would help alleviate some of the North and South traffic in that part of town. The plan is to connect Kansas Expressway from Republic Road, down to Plainview, and then from Plainview to Farm Road 190 where it would ultimately connect to Farm Road 141.

Before any of that happens, the department still needs to get the right of way in a few areas. 

Residents KOLR10 spoke to nearby are in no rush to see the plan unfold for traffic concerns, and the effect on nature.

“Now you have neighborhoods that have built up over the last 30 or 40 years, and a lot of them are wooded areas. We back up to a wooded area, and there are streams running through the area. You have Ward Branch and Workman Branch,” says Bonnie Kingsley who lives near Plainview road.

One concern is an endangered bat habitat on the Ward Branch Greenway. 

“That’s one of the components that we’re addressing through the Kansas project is to assess what impact — if any — it may have on that, ultimatley to work through a plan to build conservation measures as we build the project,” says Humphrey. 

Multiple people we spoke to along the Ward Branch Greenway Trail were opposed to the project as well. 

Humphrey says construction should start by early next year, assuming they can get the right of way remaining areas. 

The total cost would be about $30 million, and the project is federally funded.

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