FRONTENAC — Driving into Frontenac is about to get a lot safer for both residents and truck drivers. The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) have announced they will be helping to fund improvements to the McKay and Hwy 69 intersection.

The improvements, made at the request of the City of Frontenac will address several issues with the intersection.

According to Frontenac City Administrator Brad Reams, the request is part of a long term community plan with a priority of providing safety solutions for residents.

“Since I came on board, along with the city council, our top priority has been addressing some long standing safety issues,” Reams said.

Reams said the intersection of McKay and Hwy 69 is problematic because of the many trucks that go through there, over 100 a day.

“Just watching that corner for 30 minutes you realize that a lot of those trucks can’t make that turn safely,” he said.

The concern over the corner goes beyond just safety, there is also an economic impact. According to Reams McKay street going towards Sugarcreek Packing Company and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition has been engineered to handle the truck traffic. However, due to issues with the intersection some trucks go other routes, and both companies have plans to expand.

“Our whole goal is to keep them on McKay, it’s made for that kind of traffic,” Reams said. “We also want to provide a good roadway that encourages the continued expansion of those businesses.”

Frontenac Mayor Linda Grilz agreed with Reams and said the announcement from KDOT is good news for the community.

“It’s going to be great to help us serve the businesses in the industrial park while addressing concerns about safety and traffic flow,” Grilz said.

The decision to try to receive the funding was not based solely on the truck traffic. According to Reams several citizens had raised concerns about the lack of a dedicated turn signal, which this project will fix.

KDOT has approved $400,000 for the project, and Frontenac estimates it will cost approximately $375,000. The project is slated for the 2021 fiscal year.