Mark Taylor
[email protected]

The Johnson County Commission has signed on with the cities of Gardner and Edgerton, the Mid-America Regional Council and the Kansas Department of Transportation in funding a study of the Southwest Johnson County Freight District.

Commissioners approved the agreement as part of its consent agenda on March 22.

The freight district study will examine land use and transportation planning in the areas surrounding the BNSF intermodal logistics park in Edgerton.

“The BNSF intermodal facility and logistics park has and will continue to change the character of Southwest Johnson County,” Mac Andrew, director of infrastructure for the county, wrote in a memo to commissioners.  “This development includes 1,000 acres of development and an untold number of adjacent projects.”

The intermodal development — scheduled to open in 2013 — has resulted in the closure of three major arterials between Gardner and Edgerton, including 183rd Street, 191st Street and Four Corners Road.

A new $33 million interchange will be constructed at Interstate 35 and Homestead Lane.

The study includes five main components, including local major road planning, state highway planning, land use, active transportation and natural resources in a 21-square mile area generally bounded by Sunflower Road, 175th Street, Gardner Road and 215th Street.

The study will look into transportation system improvements, the possible realignment of U.S. 56 Highway, future land use scenarios, the development of bicycle and pedestrian trails and safe routes to school, among other items.

The realignment of U.S. 56 Highway along 199th Street between Edgerton and Interstate 35 would shift maintenance responsibilities between the city of Gardner, the county and the state.

The maintenance of the Gardner portion of the current state highway (Main Street) would shift from the state to the city, and maintenance of 199th Street from the county to the state.

The cost of the study is $450,000.

Edgerton, Gardner and MARC will be responsible for $25,000 each.

KDOT’s share is $300,000 and Johnson County’s is $75,000.