TOPEKA (KSNT) – A local organization is looking for feedback from the community on what people would like to see happen to the area beneath the Polk-Quincy Viaduct once the reconstruction of Interstate 70 through downtown Topeka is completed.
Downtown Topeka Inc. is collecting feedback on how to best make use of the area beneath the viaduct. Some possibilities that are currently on the table for the space include a recreational area, art installations, an urban eatery and more.
“DTI’s goal is to help stand up an innovative space that is lively and welcoming to all,” said Rhiannon Friedman, DTI president. “We don’t want the area beneath the bridge to sit there untouched. Whether we end up with a recreational space, an outdoor urban eatery, art installations or something else entirely, will depend on community members’ input. We hope to help create something unique that serves the Topeka community for years to come.”
The survey only takes around two to three minutes to complete. The results will be “instrumental” in the process of transforming the downtown Topeka corridor, DTI said. The survey is expected to stay open until the end of August.
“I’m proud to see downtown Topeka constantly growing and evolving,” said Karen Hiller, Topeka City Council member for District 1, which includes the downtown area. “The Polk-Quincy Viaduct project presents a unique opportunity for the community to reimagine how we see and use the areas beneath this bridge, which cuts through the downtown core. I’m excited to see what ideas we pursue.”
The DTI said that it will be working closely with local and state partners to see potential projects through. DTI hopes to utilize major federal transportation funds to drive development. Both legal restrictions and safety measures will be under consideration when determining the final proposal.
Work on the viaduct is expected to shut down both lanes on westbound I-70 on August 15 for three weeks, along with one lane on going eastbound, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation. The project is expected to last until 2025 when the actual construction project for the replacement of I-70 will begin.