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Highway 54 to remain closed over busy travel weekend

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, May 21, 2007, at 9:41 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008, at 5:15 p.m.

Highway 54 between Greensburg and Pratt will remain closed over the Memorial Day weekend, Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the Kansas Adjutant General's Office, said today.

That stretch of U.S. 54 has been closed since a tornado hit Greensburg on May 4.

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, more than 4,000 people usually drive the stretch of highway that goes through Greensburg each day. More are expected around major holidays, such as Memorial Day.

Kim Stich, information specialist for the department, said motorists can expect to take a 21- or 46-mile detour around Greensburg. The highway is closed between Highway 183, just west of Greensburg, and Pratt.

"It is certainly something to take into consideration when planning your travel route," she said. "But this closure is necessary to keep traffic safe."

The department and other entities are using the highway to transport debris. It is unknown when the highway will reopen.

"We know it's going to be an inconvenience, but we hope people will understand it's kind of a team effort here," Stich said. "We encourage people to think ahead and consider alternate routes."

Reach Amanda O'Toole at 316-268-6357 or aotoole@wichitaeagle.com.

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