New weight limits considered for Willard bridge

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Shawnee County Public Works Director Tom Vlach said deteriorating conditions caused the Kansas Department of Transportation to recommend lowering the weight limits on the Willard bridge.

Vlach briefed commissioners on the news at their meeting Monday morning. The bridge spans the Kansas River on the north side of Willard.

If approved after this Thursday’s commission meeting, the lower weight limits go into affect the same day.  Because of their weight, the new restrictions mean that regular-sized school buses would no longer be able to use the bridge. The final decision rests with Vlach.

The bridge is a primary route for travelers including the USD 321 Kaw Valley school district. Five years ago, the county approved $150,000 to start design work for a new bridge with a total replacement cost being at least $20 million.

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