Process for replacing Willard Bridge take another step forward

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The process for replacing the Willard Bridge took another step forward Thursday.

Shawnee County Public Works Director Tom Vlach told commissioners that the Union Pacific Railroad gave their final approval.  The railroad has track underneath the bridge that spans the Kansas River and they need to approve any project that involves their right of way.

Vlach said the railroad’s blessing was a big hurdle to jump as it could have easily said “no”.

The Sheriff’s Office  also reminded motorists to obey the weight limits for the bridge as enforcement is continuing.

“The Rossville Police Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol have done a great job partnering with us to enforce those rules and it’s just an ongoing battle, so if you know business owners who have large trucks, please encourage them to avoid that area so we don’t have to take enforcement action.” Said Captain Shane Hoobler with the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.

Commissioner Buhler also added there is no agriculture exemption for the bridge, which means no heavy trucks, combines or other overweight machinery.

The bridge replacement is still on track for next spring if all the funding comes through.

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