JUNCTION CITY (KSNT) – Representative Nate Butler and County Commissioners in Geary County listened to the voices of concerned citizens when a proposed construction project threatened to make certain routes to Manhattan inaccessible.

In a meeting held April 24, numerous citizens attended to discuss their concerns with commissioners.

“We had some citizens come in for public comment but before that, I had a few phone calls come in to see if I knew about it, which I didn’t,” Geary County Commissioner Alex Tyson said.
“We of course want all of our roads and bridges fixed but not at the expense of families.”

The proposed bridge project for McDowell Creek Road would’ve closed the road over I-70 for a complete bridge deck replacement, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation. The construction would’ve conflicted with nearby K-177 construction limiting public access.

Rep. Butler stepped in by communicating with a Department of Transportation representative to have the project postponed until construction on K-177 was finished. According to Butler, the postponement of the project was well received by families.

“Families in the McDowell Creek area had several concerns ranging from moving farm equipment from south of I70 to north of I70 and return,” Butler said. “To access quick emergency care if needed, busing students and general all-around travel. We are grateful to the decision made by KDOT.”

After construction on K-177 is completed in November 2023, KDOT will reassess the project on McDowell Creek Road. The construction is expected to take around six months to complete.