From 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Oct. 28, could be a crucial morning for the development of both Great Bend and central Kansas, and local residents are being encouraged to travel to Hutchinson that morning to support the proposed improvements to K-96 highway between Hutchinson and Sterling.
It will, if successful, be one of the step in creating an improved route from Great Bend to Hutchinson, and on to Wichita, and that is an important asset, if it can be realized, City Administrator Howard Partington urges.
Partington explained that a Local Consultation Meeting will be held by Kansas Department of Transportation District 5 at the Grand Prairie Hotel in Hutchinson on Oct. 28 and one of the options that is being currently considered is improvements to the route.
While it is not what Partington and other city officials have sought for decades, it would be an improvement to the current route. “It’s better to get something than nothing,” he said.
Financial realties have changed a lot during the long period that Partington and other city staff members, elected officials and business leaders have worked to get a diagonal route directly from Great Bend to Wichita. That is simply no longer feasible.
But the proposal being considered would make this stretch better and that is something.
It’s important that the community show up to support the program, he added. “We do need a good showing.”
The results of this meeting will contribute to 25 percent of the scoring for the project. Another 25 percent involves economic development issues and 50 percent is based on the engineering criteria, Partington explained.
For more information on attending the meeting, contact Partington, 793-4111.