Losing business doesn't sit well with Pittsburg Mayor John Ketterman, but today, he got good news that can improve the situation.
"We announced today the preliminary engineering work for a 4 lanes south of Pittsburg to I-44," states Sam Brownback, Kansas Governor.
U.S.-69, U.S. 400, and U.S.- 166 from the Crawford County line to I-44 in Baxter Springs would be upgraded from 2 lanes to 4. This is another step in creating a 4 lane route directly connecting southeast Kansas cities and Kansas City.
"The closer this comes to being completed, the easier it's going to be to draw new businesses to town," says Mayor Ketterman.
That's Governor Brownback's goal with these projects, improving both local business and the state's economy.
"Most economic developer directors will tell you, if you're on a 4 lane highway, it'll help your prospects in being able to land major business prospects, mainly in manufacturing," says Governor Brownback.
Preliminary work is under way with design work and corridor analysis in the works. The cost is yet unknown, but funding is pretty much set.
"July 1st of this year, .4 cents of the one-cent sales tax will start going into highway funding, and this was passed several years ago," says Mayor Ketterman.
There is no time line set yet for this project but Mayor Ketterman hopes it comes soon, very soon.
"Next week, but in reality, it's going to be a few years. We understand that," says Mayor Ketterman.
Actual construction on the 3 highways can take months or years. Governor Brownback says this project was chosen because of the amount of public recommendation during several local meetings in October.