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Groundbreaking for Newton street improvement project postponed by weather

Chad Frey
The Kansan

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Wheatridge and Paddington street improvement project has been postponed because of inclement weather. The ceremony was to be Monday, but rain and projected storms through the day led to the postponement of the ceremony. 

According to Erin McDaniel, public information director for the city of Newton, staff from the city and the Kansas Department of Transportation will work to try to reschedule before the contractor begins construction.

The improvements will serve a planned commercial development by Occidental Management on about 80 acres south of Wheatridge. The development will be phased and will consist of general commercial along S. Kansas, potentially followed by residential and professional offices to the west.

The city of Newton was awarded about $2 million from KDOT's Cost Share Program for the extension of Wheatridge Drive and Paddington Avenue to serve new development along S. Kansas Avenue.

The project will extend Wheatridge Drive from S. Kansas west to Paddington and extend Paddington from Wheatridge to Windward, with roundabouts at each intersection. The project also moves about 400 feet of Wheatridge on the east side of S. Kansas to the south to line up with the new Wheatridge on the west with a light at that intersection.  

Windward will become right-in/right-out only on the west side of S. Kansas and the center median will be closed off. Quail Creek Drive will be extended to the west in another upcoming project. Pearson Construction is the contractor.

Kansas Deputy Secretary of Transportation Lindsey Douglas and KDOT Economic Development programs manager Michelle Needham are expected to attend the groundbreaking.

The city also canceled the regular city commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday because ofa lack of business items. All agenda items will be moved to the next meeting, Feb. 9.