Kansas lawmakers have shifted hundreds of millions of dollars out of the State Highway Fund to help balance the budget in recent years. While this will likely cause some road maintenance projects to be delayed, other upgrades are still moving forward.
One of those projects affects homeowners in northeast Kansas who are convinced the transportation department is now cutting corners because of the state's tight budget. Stephen Koranda traveled to Alta Vista to learn more.
A plan to expand U.S. 50 in southwestern Kansas no longer includes leveling a historic rock formation.
U.S. 50 expansion from a two-lane road into a four-lane expressway will use a paved 16-foot median as it passes the Point of Rocks formation, which was once used as a navigational aid for travelers and cowboys along the Santa Fe Trail.
The original plan would have leveled the formation.
But the Kansas Department of Transportation considered other options after discussions with groups, including the Santa Fe Trail Association.
America's highways are littered with loose ends. In Houston, relics of an incomplete inner city project loom on the east and west ends with nothing in-between. In Portland, ramps built to merge with the Mt. Hood Freeway simply drop off into an overgrown field.
In the 1930s, construction began on a highway that would cross Pennsylvania’s unruly terrain, following a path developed by the railroad magnate William Vanderbilt. But by the 60s, the route had bypassed a long segment and a narrow tunnel in Breezewood, Pennsylvania. The highway is now slowly being recaptured by nature.