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NE2:
What's the deal with US 54-400 at Cheney? There are two interchanges, half a mile apart, at 383rd and 391st Streets: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=37.66699&lon=-97.77774&zoom=15&layers=M (I checked aerials and they're clearly both in use).

J N Winkler:
They were not signed for 383rd and 391st Sts. W. originally.  When this freeway length of US 54 was built in the mid-1970's, the west exit was signed for K-251, the town of Cheney, and Cheney Lake, while the east exit was signed for St. Joe (locally called St. Joe Ost).  Neither Google Maps nor Openstreetmap show St. Joe, which is unincorporated.  When the US 54 freeway was reconstructed from Garden Plain to Kingman in 2002-03, KDOT replaced all the signs and substituted cross street names for town and geographical feature names on the advance guide and exit direction signs.  (I am not aware that an explicit reason for this decision was ever given, but I suspect it had to do with facilitating navigation by emergency vehicles.)  Cheney and Cheney Lake have both been relegated to supplemental guide signs, and I am not sure St. Joe is still signed anymore.

When the road was originally constructed, I believe that Cheney and St. Joe received separate but closely spaced interchanges because they were considered separate communities and normal KDOT policy is to provide one freeway interchange per distinct population center in a rural area--cf. the cases of Goddard, which KDOT has been trying to limit to one freeway interchange despite the fact that it is growing into a Wichita exurb, and Greensburg, where (IIRC) KDOT acquiesced to a split diamond.

Edit:  I have come across new information.  St. Joe does appear in the DeLorme Kansas gazetteer, at the intersection of 37th St. N. and 343rd St. W.  KDOT does provide an exit at 343rd St. W. which is now signed for St. Joe on supplemental guide signs.

I have also realized that my memory as to signing prior to the 2003 reconstruction is unreliable.  I cannot exclude the following possibilities with regard to the pre-2003 signing:

*  East exit asked about in the original post (383rd St. W.) was originally signed for Cheney town--in fact both 383rd and 391st Sts. go to Cheney, but 383rd St. is the more direct route to the center of Cheney, while 391st St. passes it on its western fringe

*  West exit (391st St.) was originally signed for St. Joe in addition to Lake Cheney and K-251--this arrangement would have been logical if 343rd St. W. was unpaved when the US 54 freeway was originally built, since in the absence of a paved 343rd St., K-251 and its continuation north and east of Lake Cheney become the fastest paved route to St. Joe.  In fact 343rd St. is now paved

Lake Cheney (north of US 54-400) is used primarily as a reservoir to store drinking water for the city of Wichita, but it is also a heavily used state park with boating and other recreational opportunities.  This is why 391st St. W. between US 54 and 21st St. is on the state highway system as K-251.  Regardless of the preferred access to St. Joe, 383rd St. is also a more convenient access to the town of Cheney (just south of US 54), and this may have been why a separate exit was built in the 1970's.  The two destinations could have been served by a single crossroad at a common exit, but this would have been an awkward arrangement necessitating an offline relocation of K-251.

I am not aware of any exit lists covering US 54 pre-2003.  Highway Heaven (checked using the Web Archive) never seems to have hosted or linked to any.  The roadgeek community (in the early 2000's) seems to have been generally oblivious to the existence of a US 54 freeway in far western Sedgwick County.  I believe that the 2003 reconstruction was performed through KDOT contract number 54-87 K-6398-01, advertised for construction in January of that year and awarded for $16 million.  The signing plans almost certainly include removal sheets which would have shown the signing on US 54-400 immediately prior to the reconstruction.  However, KDOT does not have an online plans archive, and getting the plans out of KDOT through an open records request would be a difficult project necessitating patience and a willingness to pay fees (hard to predict as to magnitude) for retrieval and production.

corco:
Probably not much help for explaining why it's there, but I have exactly one photo relevant to the situation- the overpass is 383rd, with 391st coming up.

As Winkler says, it's signed as 391st St with a supplemental sign for Cheney Reservoir

Here's that photo (warning: high res)

NE2:

--- Quote from: J N Winkler on May 29, 2011, 04:48:50 PM ---When the road was originally constructed, I believe that Cheney and St. Joe received separate but closely spaced interchanges because they were considered separate communities and normal KDOT policy is to provide one freeway interchange per distinct population center in a rural area--cf. the cases of Goddard, which KDOT has been trying to limit to one freeway interchange despite the fact that it is growing into a Wichita exurb, and Greensburg, where (IIRC) KDOT acquiesced to a split diamond.

--- End quote ---
This is what I was looking for; thanks.

roadman65:
Has any work commenced on the 15 mile realignment of K-14/ K-96 yet in Reno and Rice Counties as part of the Northwest Passage project?

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