Danedri Thompson
A handful of Gardner residents stopped into city hall Feb. 23 to examine plans about a proposal to expand U.S. 56 Highway at Center Street.
Although consultants on the project did not offer a formal presentation, they set up poster boards diagramming proposed changes and were available to answer questions.
Residential neighbors circulated during the event questioning whether the project would make it difficult for cars to enter and exit residential driveways.
Gardner council members reached a consensus to move forward with the million dollar project that would shift the center line of Main Street near Center Street to the south. The plan retains a right turn lane on eastbound Main street, maintains parking on the north side of Main Street and allows for four to six parking spaces on the south side of Main near Elm.
Officials are still hashing out remedies for Bruce Funeral Home, as the plan would fundamentally change a Main Street entrance into the funeral home. The entrance leads to a garage, and funeral home staff told consultants on the project that a garage entrance is necessary for the home to maintain its Kansas business license.
Formal designs have yet to be drafted for the project, but state officials anticipate starting construction on a project to expand the intersection in April 2013. The project would be complete in August 2013. Plans may eventually include reducing the speed limit near the intersection.
The Kansas Department of Transportation would fund the majority of the project, while Gardner would be expected to kick in approximately $350,000.