August 31, 2014

Officials to consider heavy-haul permitting in new year

The Homestead Lane interchange at Interstate 35 opened to traffic in late September. Typically roads are turned over to local governments when completed, but the industriial roads near intermodal still belong to the state and the county.Officials are still trying to determine how maintenance will be funded on the new roads. File photo

The Homestead Lane interchange at Interstate 35 opened to traffic in late September. Typically roads are turned over to local governments when completed, but the industriial roads near intermodal still belong to the state and the county.Officials are still trying to determine how maintenance will be funded on the new roads. File photo

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Edgerton officials are still trying to work out how they will fund road maintenance on 191st Street and Homestead Lane. The roads were constructed to serve the KC Logistics Hub and BNSF intermodal, and thousands of trucks are expected to use the roads every day once the logistics park is at full capacity.
Johnson County still owns and maintains the $14 million 191st Street, and the Kansas Department of Transportation still owns and maintains Homestead Lane at the interchange. Typically completed road projects are turned over to municipalities. That hasn’t happened yet for the heavy haul roads leading to the intermodal.
In 2014, Edgerton officials will determine how maintenance on the those roads will be funded when the roads become their responsibility.
The state currently offers heavy haul permits for state-owned roads and highways. State permits cost between $25 and $2,000.
Beth Linn, Edgerton city administrator, said once the roads are turned over to the city it will be up to the council to draft regulations for 191st Street and Homestead Lane. Edgerton Council members briefly discussed the topic back in August.

Public officials from the county, like Johnson County Board of Commissioners Chair Ed Eilert (ABOVE), spoke about the joint efforts of the intermodal project during the grand opening of the Homestead interchange in October. The county and state still own heavy haul roads leading to the logistics hub in Edgerton. Secretary of Transportation Mike King said state officials will work with local officials to determine rules for heavy haul freight. File photo

Public officials from the county, like Johnson County Board of Commissioners Chair Ed Eilert (ABOVE), spoke about the joint efforts of the intermodal project during the grand opening of the Homestead interchange in October. The county and state still own heavy haul roads leading to the logistics hub in Edgerton. Secretary of Transportation Mike King said state officials will work with local officials to determine rules for heavy haul freight. File photo

“We’ve just started working with the state to understand their regulations,” Linn explained. “We have some time to investigate overweight permitting. We’re still working through what other intermodals might do and what might fit best for Edgerton.”
The BNSF intermodal in Edgerton is one of the only intermodals in the country that does not charge heavy haul permitting fees. However, rumors abound that state officials may change laws that allow municipalities to set overweight fees in their own jurisdictions. That may limit Edgerton’s options to fund maintenance on its expensive heavy haul roads.
“I think (the state) may have concerns to make sure that we don’t do anything to prevent interstate commerce or to make it financially challenging to come to the intermodal,” Linn said. “The critical piece for Edgerton is that those trucks do the most damage to the road.”
At the opening of the Homestead Lane-Interstate 35 interchange in October, Secretary of TransportationMike King said state officials plan to create a freight advisory council to determine how the maintenance of heavy haul roads near the intermodal can be funded. To date, no such committee has been formed.
Linn said Edgerton officials anticipate the roads will be turned over to the city sometime in the first or second quarter of 2014.
“Edgerton is looking for a source of revenue to cover the maintenance of those roads,” Linn said. “Some of the maintenance will come from development. The question is whether there’s an additional revenue source as well, and we don’t know yet.”

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