Upgrades started on Kansas Turnpike stretch where 7 died

A 2-mile stretch of the Kansas Turnpike where seven people have died in flooding will soon offer better protection for drivers.

Workers are about halfway through a project to improve drainage on a stretch about 10 miles south of Emporia. Six people, including five members of a Missouri family, died there in 2003. A Texas man drowned last year. All of the deaths were caused by vehicles getting caught in floodwaters.

The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/296niOj) that the $2.7 million project between mile markers 116 and 118 will install massive box culverts that run beneath the highway. The goal is to keep rising water from flash flooding off the turnpike. Turnpike officials said Wednesday that beginning in November, the design should keep water off the road in a 100-year storm.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com.