Kansas Avenue Revamping Coming Soon

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Topeka City Council members received a progress report on efforts to revitalize Kansas Avenue, but some city council members feel not all Topekans are being asked for input.

It's been years in the making but city officials believe they are now just months away from construction along Kansas Avenue.

Revamping Kansas Avenue from 6th Street to 10th street will soon be a reality.

Wendy Wells, Co-Chair of the Downtown Topeka Foundation said, "The community has really come forward with private sector money to make it a special four block area downtown."

Wells says the Downtown Topeka Foundation has raised $2.2 Million dollars in private donations, surpassing their goal of $1.8 Million.

She says those in charge of design and construction will not only dig up four blocks of Kansas Avenue, reducing it from five lanes to three and adding new sidewalks, they will also dig into Topeka's past.

"We are looking at the history of Topeka and trying to identify important moments/people. Hitting the highlights of Topeka and Kansas as well," said Wells.

While the majority of council members sense the excitement of a new downtown Topeka, Councilman John Campos is worried some areas are given little input.

"I asked blatantly if they had reached out to any African-American or Latino businesses in our community because none of them were represented on the map they provided. It's essential to make sure if downtown is important to all people in our city, than each segment of our population is represented fairly," said Campos.

The project design will be publicly unveiled in an event from 4 to 6 p.m. February 26th at Architect One at 906 South Kansas Avenue. Groundbreaking is scheduled for early April.