In 2008, the Harvey County Economic Development Council, Harvey County, its seven municipalities and area businesses, hired Initiatives, Inc., to develop and articulate a unified economic vision for future regional transportation needs. Findings from the study led to the development of the Kansas Logistics Park and prompted the Kansas Department of Transportation to develop an expanded interchange on I-135
In the summer of 2008, the Harvey County Economic Development Council, Harvey County, its seven municipalities and area businesses hired Initiatives to develop and articulate a unified economic vision. This process was designed to build a business case for future regional transportation needs that will position the region for a 10 year statewide transportation plan. The goals were to:
1. Give the State of Kansas a clear and concise picture of the most current economic development opportunities available to our region.
2. Outline to the State of Kansas our future transportation needs, and if fulfilled, how they can provide a return on investment for the whole State.
Initiatives interviewed 46 people representing 33 organizations. The objective was to reach out to a well representative sample of community and business leaders. This process gave the ability to identify overriding economic development themes and to determine how they relate to proposed highway enhancements. Major conclusions were:
•Kansas is becoming increasingly “urbanized” as its citizens are gravitating towards metropolitan areas in the State. This phenomenon has occurred and continues to occur in Johnson, Wyandotte and Douglas Counties near metropolitan Kansas City, which is in Missouri. It is now occurring in Sedgwick, Harvey and their adjacent counties near Wichita.
•The region already has critical infrastructure elements in place or in process that are driving this trend in central and south central Kansas. The State of Kansas is benefitting from its investments in northeast Kansas and now has an excellent opportunity to capitalize on a “second wave” of regional growth in central and south central Kansas.
The findings from this study led to the development of the Kansas Logistics Park. It has also
prompted the Kansas Department of Transportation to develop an expanded interchange on I135 to accommodate the transport of large wind energy components.