City officials meet with USD 415 board

(KNZA)--Hiawatha city officials meet with the Hiawatha School board last week to discuss changes the Kansas Department Transportation is proposing to the 1st Street corridor to enhance safety.

City Public Works Director Brad Scott and Mayor Becky Shamburg gave a presentation to the board on the proposed changes.

Scott said KDOT is proposing going with street reconfiguration known as a “ road diet.” Under the proposal, the existing four-lane street would be converted to a three-lane roadway consisting of two through lanes and a center two-way left-turn lane.

As part of the proposal, the traffic signals at 1st and Oregon and 1st and Iowa would be removed.

Other changes proposed by KDOT include making Longfellow Street a one-way street, removing old school zone signals and implementing flashing beacons at crosswalks.

Scott said the cost to replace the failed traffic signal at 1st and Oregon with a similar traffic signal has been placed at $500,000 to $750,000. KDOT would not provide any funding if the city decides to have the traffic light replaced.

The board's primary concern was student safety, especially when crossing the highway for school and during the summer to get to the pool. It was the consensus of the board that they wanted to see the traffic signal at 1st and Iowa stay, while it is still operational, for safety reasons.

Shamburg invited the board to request to be on the agenda for the next city commission meeting to voice any concerns.

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