No change: KDOT walks away from responsibility for South US83

By Rod Haxton, editor

The Scott City Council has decided to walk away from further discussions about changing the south entrance/exit on US83 Highway.

Changing the highway configuration from four lanes to three lanes was very unpopular when it occurred nearly a year ago. While the howls of protest have quieted since, a recent poll indicates that the vast majority of city residents prefer the highway as it was before KDOT imposed its will.

A majority of the city council seems to share that sentiment and they were willing to push for that change until presented with cost figures of just over $50,000 to make things as they once were. As a councilman observed, that seems like a pretty steep price to change some highway striping.

We would concur.

Of course, the biggest issue for the council is that the entire cost will fall on the city. Again, that didn’t sit particularly well with members since they didn’t request the change and weren’t given any input in the decision.

KDOT officials claim that city representatives were in attendance at a meeting in which the changes were discussed, but no one could recall such a meeting or being in attendance. Not that it likely would have made much difference.

Since the council doesn’t feel it should be responsible for paying $50,000 to fix KDOT’s “mistake,” it appears the highway will remain as is.

Perhaps the city can acquire the final piece of the frontage street right-of-way to improve access to the hospital and other businesses on the south edge of Scott City. This would provide a safer option while perhaps reducing some of the local traffic on south US83.

And, hopefully, a major accident never occurs on the south edge of the city which will prompt the question: Is this the best solution that KDOT could offer?

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