The city will remove about 2,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil north of the Broadview Hotel as part of its $2.2 million riverbank improvement project, Public Works Director Chris Carrier said Monday.
The soil doesn't contain hazardous waste, he said. But it does contain chemicals that were applied on and around an old railroad track that used to run through the area and on a bridge over the Arkansas River. The chemicals were likely used to prevent weed growth on the tracks.
The soil will be transported to a special landfill near Topeka because it can't be dumped in any local landfills.
No unexpected costs will be incurred because the city calculated the soil contamination into its project before the Wichita City Council approved it last November.
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The city's improvements include an elaborate set of paths, landscaping and lighting along the Arkansas River at Douglas. It is part of a massive financing package the city offered Drury Southwest to help the company buy the financially strapped Broadview Hotel last year.
Drury started its renovations last month.