25 Years Ago: Belleville Telescope – HWY 81

From this week’s Belleville Telescope looking back 25 years ago. Read more – www.thebellevilletelescope.com

Highway Officials Reluctant To Establish US-81 Four-Lane Route Through Republic County

Local requests to complete a survey on the location for a four-lane US81 highway through Republic County are largely being ignored by the Kansas Department of Transportation, which says it lacks funds to begin preliminary engineering. Despite repeated calls to several KDOT officials this week, The Telescope was unable to learn the status of the US81 highway project survey between Minneapolism and Concordia. No information was available on how soon work would begin on the new viaduct on US81 in Concordia, and whether it would be four-lanes wide. Stan Whitley of the KDOT public information department said work being done on US81 through Concordia this summer is not part of the “system enhancement” program announced earlier this summer by KDOT. That work was scheduled and let for bids prior to the announcement that US81 would be enlarged to four lanes between Minneapolis and Concordia. The asphalt overlay being placed on the highway in Concordia is expected to be completed this week. The resurfacing is funded 50 percent by the state and 50 percent by the City of Concordia. Total cost of the project is in excess of $200,000.