TOPEKA (KSNT) — The City of Topeka held the first of two public meetings on the potential southeast Topeka interchange Monday night.
Monday’s meeting was a heated meeting between the city of Topeka, Kansas Turnpike Authority and the residents of east Topeka.
“That is a Disneyland drawing up there, you are talking about a fire department that has to be moved,” said one upset resident.
The City presented four possible interchange designs to residents. Options one and two involves building on 29th street.
“Will I be compensated if you guys taking our yard?” said one resident who says the interchange will take up part of her yard.
“If you use number two, you are getting ready to take out a business. So I don’t know what you mean by economic development.”
The concern here is too much noise, building on homeowners’ property, and traffic congestion.
Some residents were worried about paying a toll.
“The KTA is funded by bonds. This will not be a free road. There will be some tolls.”
When it comes to options three and four, the city’s options were also not favored by residents. In fact, residents claimed they are worse.
The city argues that economic development is the reason why this interchange needs to be built.
But residents brought up an important question, what about the economic development plan already in place for California Avenue? They say the city has taken no action.
“I will fight to make sure California is done on time, and I have had several talks with other council members,” said council member Jonathan Schumm.
As for the interchange, KTA says this plan is best for Topeka’s future.
“The request from the city on this interchange was probably based on their desire to try and improve the economics of that area,” says David Jacobson, representative with the Kansas Turnpike Authority.
The city council will decide Tuesday, October 13th at the council meeting what design and location to choose.
If you missed Monday night’s meeting there is a second one Thursday, October 1st at 10 a.m. at the American Legion.