ANDOVER, Kan. (KSNW) — On Thursday, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) released updated plans for a proposed expansion of a 4.25-mile stretch of east Kellogg.

The expansion would turn that stretch of the roadway into a controlled access freeway, approximately from the Kansas Highway 96 interchange to Prairie Creek Rd in Andover.

Phase One would elevate U.S. Highway 54 between S 143rd St E and S 159th St E according to the initial plan.

Phase Two would depress U.S. 54 from S 159th St E to Prairie Creek Rd, according to KDOT’s preferred plan.

While both phases are not set in stone, KDOT says the plan falls in line with what the City of Andover would prefer.

“What we’re hearing from folks (and the most viable option) is for the west portion, which will be the first phase, that will be elevated, and then the second portion, the east portion, the second phase, will be depressed,” Burt Morey, the Deputy Secretary & State Transportation Engineer for KDOT, said.

For some affected residents, the plans are long overdue.

“KDOT’s openness to showing the plan and receiving the input from the community has really been exemplary,” Marlin Penner, a resident of Wichita’s east side, said.

Others say while the project is needed, details surrounding residential access and drainage through some neighborhoods need further clarification.

“I’ve lived in the neighborhood for ten years now…my end of the neighborhood only has two ways out, and one of those ways, March, April, and May, get flood. It’s flooded out,” Chris Carlson, Treasurer of the Minneha Township, said. “Nobody can get out except for the entrance they’re going to put a new bridge on.”

Others say Phase One’s estimated cost of $226 million is too much to save ten minutes of drive time.

“It’s a lot of money, no matter who pays…much of Wichita, for example, which [has] a very large population, won’t be using this East Kellogg route,” Jane Byrnes, another resident of Wichita’s east side, said.

Another point of debate is the format of Phase Two itself.

“You’re basically creating a bathtub for the highway, so somehow you have to get the water out of there,” Steven Cross, Road Design Leader & Project Manager for KDOT, said. “Depending on the groundwater elevation, you could have water there all the time, which has to be pumped out as opposed to just when it rains or when it snows.”

At the time of this article’s publication, funding only exists for Phase One. KDOT has not released any start or end dates for either phase. However, a period for public comment ends December 2nd for both phases.

To submit any questions of concerns about the project to KDOT, click here.