One of the biggest tasks in building a highway is in determining exactly where in the corridor a road should go. While surveying doesn’t exactly perform that task, it is vital in providing the detailed information that will be needed for engineers and designers to determine the road alignment.

One of the biggest tasks in building a highway is in determining exactly where in the corridor a road should go. While surveying doesn’t exactly perform that task, it is vital in providing the detailed information that will be needed for engineers and designers to determine the road alignment.

That’s why starting on Monday, survey crews working for the Kansas Department of Transportation will be out in force along U.S. Highway 69 between Fort Scott and Arma.

The project, which was funded under the 10-year T-WORKS transportation plan, called for $47 million to go to the expansion of U.S. 69 from a two-lane road to a four-lane expressway. Technically, the project starts near U.S. 69’s intersection with Kansas Highway 7 in Bourbon County and ends three miles north of the north city limits of Arma.

The survey work will take six months of work to gather the information needed, and will have to contact property owners for permission to enter private property. John Lilak of the consultant firm TranSystems will be in charge of the survey for KDOT.

Another project, informally known as the Arma Connection, will also start survey work soon. The Arma Connection is a six-mile section of U.S. 69 starting north of Arma and ending at the intersection with Kansas Highway 47.

This project, which is not funded at this time, would essentially lay another two lanes of road along the current alignment of U.S. 69 as it maneuvers around Arma and Franklin. If completed, this would provide a four-lane highway from Kansas City to Pittsburg.

A KDOT spokesperson said that survey work for this project, considered separate from the Arma-to-Fort-Scott piece, would begin April 2 and would last for four months.

The Arma Connection, which is estimated to cost $18 million, was given the go-ahead by local officials in October, so long as the ultimate goal — a bypass of Crawford County beginning north of Arma moving westward and ending at the Cherokee County line — remained intact.

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 140.