The first phase of a two-part study of regional transportation needs in northeast Kansas will get under way soon, with completion expected in a year to 18 months.

Participants in the study include Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, and Wyandotte counties, several cities in the region, the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Turnpike Authority, Mid-America Regional Council, and the Lawrence-Douglas County Metro Planning Commission.

A KDOT spokesman said the first phase of the study will focus on identifying transportation needs resulting from large developments in the area, include a proposed regional warehouse facility in Gardner, commercial development of a former military ammunition plant in De Soto, and planned growth at and around the Kansas Speedway.

The study also will look at state and local road systems, estimated traffic growth over the next 20 years, and the capacity of the existing system to handle an expected doubling of freight traffic over the next two decades.

The second phase of the study will determine the cost of proposed highway infrastructure upgrades and construction.

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