TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Engineers say it's a preventative traffic move, but residents say it could be another major drive-time delay.
Topeka City Council members will take up a traffic way improvement resolution for 21st Street on Tuesday (9/11). The plan would widen SW 21st St. from the existing five lane section, west of SW Wanamaker and West Ridge Mall, to SW Urish.
The project is budgeted at $3.8 million, to be fully funded by the county-wide half cent sales tax. If approved, work could start in March and be finished by the end of 2013.
Engineers say it's an effort to accommodate anticipated growth in the area, with new subdivisions and new businesses. They say the road will be safer and more usable.
"The problem is if we don't do anything then it's hard to get around Topeka and the roads will become unusable. Providing some of the maintenance that's happening all throughout Topeka, these are actually expansion projects so we can meet the future growth and what's happening right now," Kevin Holland, Vice President and engineer at Cook, Flatt & Strobel, said.
Officials say the roundabout at SW 17th and Urish will be done this year. Work on Wanamaker, from 29th to 37th Streets should be complete in December.
After this project , 21st Street will be widened to five lanes, even farther west of Urish to Indian Hills, with a roundabout there as well.