A proposed U.S. Highway 77 bypass around Winfield that was shelved over 10 years ago is back on the minds of city officials as the Kansas Department of Transportation embarks on project planning for the upcoming decade.
The original plan, presented to KDOT in 2008, shows the bypass diverging from the highway north of Winfield and going around town to the west. It would reconnect to U.S. Highway 77 where Country Club Road meets the highway now, according to a map provided by Steward.
Winfield city commissioners have requested that city staff contact local business owners and community members to determine if there is still an interest in a bypass, said Winfield community development director Patrick Steward on Wednesday.
KDOT tries to roll out a new plan and funding for the associated projects about every 10 years, said Steward. Plans for the bypass were abandoned in 2008 because it came in too low on the state’s list of priority projects.
In subsequent years funding was cut, meaning even some projects that were initially included in the state’s current 10 year plan were never completed.
According to traffic count maps from KDOT, more than 11,000 cars use U.S. Highway 77 through downtown Winfield.
KDOT is preparing to host area meetings next month, where department officials will collect information on various projects that Kansas communities would like to happen in preparation for its next 10 year plan.
According to information presented in 2008, and provided by Steward, a complete western bypass would serve companies in the Strother Field area, plastics companies in Winfield and Creekstone Farms meat packing plant in northern Arkansas City.
“All of these business centers carry a very high percentage of trucks that would benefit from a western bypass,” according to the project information provided by Steward.