Habitat and Ecosystem Conservation,  Kansas,  Quality of Life Benefits of Transportation

South Lawrence Trafficway

The K-10 South Lawrence Trafficway (SLT) east leg fulfilled a missing link in a transportation corridor connecting the economic, educational and residential centers of southern Johnson County, Lawrence, Topeka, and surrounding areas.

Two high-speed freeways, K-10 and I-70, join these communities and carry much of the traffic that fuels the economy of northeast Kansas. A bypass connecting I-70 and K-10 was identified and designed to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on the local street network and expand the K-10 corridor to serve as a regional connector.

The $147 million construction project was comprised of nearly 97 percent federal funding. The SLT project consists of six miles of four-lane freeway construction; seven miles of arterial and collector street relocation; 21 open span bridges; three bridge class box structures; approximately 9,000 feet of noise walls; and the creation of over 400 acres of wetland, upland prairie, and riparian habitat. The project also includes a new folded diamond interchange at K-10 and relocated Haskell Avenue, the completion of a diamond interchange at K-10 and US-59, and a system-to-system interchange to connect K-10 and 23rd Street at the east end of the project.

Nearly four miles of new shared-use path allow pedestrians and bikers safe access through the wetlands and around the K-10 corridor. These wide biking/hiking paths that connect from Iowa Street to Haskell Avenue and take pedestrians through the Baker Wetlands on the south side of K-10 will provide a great new route for the many biking and hiking enthusiasts in Lawrence.

Thanks to the SLT project, local Lawrence streets are less congested and safer, efficient access between southern Johnson County, Lawrence and Topeka has improved, and a new wetland education and research center provides enlightenment to students and enthusiasts, all with minimal impact to the surrounding natural environment.

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