City of Manhattan to strictly enforce restricted access to Levee, Linear Trail
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The City of Manhattan will strictly enforce the restricted access signage along the Linear Trail as the river levee project enters a heavy construction period.
As the City of Manhattan’s project on the Kansas River and Big Blue river levee construction continues, it will soon see a large increase in heavy equipment traffic and building materials in the construction zone. For public safety, it said the levee - including the Linear Trail and areas from the levee to the riverbeds - has been restricted since February.
Starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, the City said criminal trespass violations in the restricted levee construction area will be enforced for the safety of the public and workers. Those who enter the restricted area could be arrested and prosecuted.
While the entire trail system from S Manhattan Ave. north to Casement Rd. and Hayes Dr. has been restricted since construction began, the City said there have been reports of residents continuing to access the trail since its closure. It said this intense period of upcoming construction will continue through 2024 and failure to stay out will be increasingly hazardous.
“We have been working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the contractors involved in this major effort. This area will be signed appropriately along the hazardous area to clearly establish the ‘No Trespassing’ boundary,” said Assistant City Manager Jared Wasinger. “We understand how much the public values access to the levee, rivers, and trail, but we need to ensure the safety of residents, visitors, and workers in the area through a full closure.”
Additionally, the City said it will start conducting a cleanup and removal effort along the entirety of the levee to the edge of both the Kansas and Big Blue rivers.
According to the City, any personal belongings from posted encampments found during the process will be removed and temporarily stored.
During the cleanup process, the City said any garbage, trash, metal, pallets, rigid plastics, wood building materials, appliances, furniture,k other bulky items and hazardous, biohazardous or unsanitary materials will be disposed of properly.
The City noted that the parking lot and boat ramp at the Blue River Access Area will remain open to the public throughout this construction period.
For more information about the project, click HERE.
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