Kansas Ave Reconstruction Underway

Today was the ground breaking for the reconstruction project of Kansas Ave between 6th and 10th streets.

Kansas First News reporter Vanessa Martinas is live downtown.

She’ll tells us what the project means for businesses and customers.

Owners say they hope the nearly $5 million project will benefit them in the long run.

“When we found out that this was going to take place they started saving up money,” Munoz said.

Martin Munoz helps run his family’s restaurant, Lupita’s.

He says they will be open while the city reconstructs Kansas Avenue.

“If we don’t make money then we still have bills to pay,” Munoz said.

But where are you going to park when you want to go to your favorite restaurant?

The city has thought about that.

They’re planning to have 2 hour free parking in the garages downtown.

President and CEO of Downtown Topeka inc Vince Frye says there will always be parking available.

“There’s plenty of parking downtown and that shouldn’t really be a problem for anyone wanting to come down here and do business,” Frye said.

Munoz says the project has to be done and parking will be manageable.

“They’ll understand, it will take time to you know cause it’s going to be a four month project, five month project on this side of the street first,” Munoz said.

Manager of HHB Bar B Que Edward Moege agrees.

He says businesses don’t have to worry.

People still have to eat.

“Whether it’s the weststars, the cap feds, the state, those people I still think are going to walk downtown whether there’s a construction out there or not,” Moege said.

Moege thinks the beauty of the new street will attract more business downtown when it’s finished.

“The street will be back open in a couple of years from now and it’s going to be great to be downtown,” Moege said.

The reconstruction of the street will be split in two.

With the east half finishing this year and the west half next year.

The project plans include adding a three-lane section of the street.

It will have northbound, southbound, and center turn lanes.

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