By ROD ZOOK
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson City Council will hold its first workshop this week. The workshops were put in place at the request of the council to both discuss and gather input on various city issues. This week's discussion will center around the Woodie Seat Freeway and the issues surrounding the upkeep and future needs.
“What we need to decide as a group is the conceptual design (of a potential project) and what is going to be politically acceptable within the neighborhood and represented leadership for that area of the city,” City Manager Jeff Cantrell said.
The city has tried three times to secure funding that would have helped pay for a nearly $10 million renovation of the area, including removing two bridges and building two round-a-bouts in the interchange with Avenue A. All three attempts failed. The discussion will also address the potential change for those living in the area.
“It would be a change for the neighborhood, so that's one where we need to have some kind of solidified direction from everybody,” Cantrell said. “It’s going to take quite a bit of time to design (a project) and for us to seek potential grant opportunities. And we won't be able to change the design later on without having to go back to the drawing board.”
The issue of the freeway has been a divided one in the council. How the council wants to proceed with the freeway could be different with two new council members on board.