WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – Gary Winget moved to Wichita in 1970. He says if there’s one thing we’re known for, it’s road construction.

“Those 50-some years I’ve lived here, Kellogg has pretty much always been under construction,” said Winget.

After a rare stretch with zero Kellogg construction, those orange cones will be going back up.

The Kansas Department of Transportation held its first public meeting Thursday in preparation for the new east Kellogg to Andover project. It starts with an environmental assessment.

“We’d be looking at things like how does it affect, how does this project affect waterways, how does it affect the property owners,” said KDOT Engineering Director Calvin Reed.

Those concerns are exactly why homeowner Doug Johnson was at the meeting.

“I’m concerned about my backyard, frankly,” said Johnson.

His house is right here behind a lake at Kellogg and 143rd. In order to expand the highway, KDOT would likely have to cut into the lake and trees in the neighborhood – something he hopes to avoid.

“I just hope that the powers that be take into consideration these concerns, and from what I’ve heard today from some of these folks from KDOT, I think they all they’re open to that,” said Johnson.

The actual construction will start in 2023. Once complete, Kellogg’s big 4-lane divided highway with Frontage roads on both sides will extend all the way to Onewood Drive in Butler County, west of Andover.

The project is estimated to cost around $200 million. But the big question is, when will it be done?

“My hope is to be able to have this project constructed and people driving on it by 2026,” said Reed.

It’s a timeframe Winget says he’s not surprised by.

“That’s a ridiculously long time. So that’s probably right. We’re ridiculously slow at doing these projects. I don’t know why, but we are,” said Winget.

KDOT says the next public meeting will be later this fall. It plans on giving an update and taking more comments from the public.

If you missed Thursday’s meeting, you can share your comments about the project on KDOT’s website.