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Bid to be awarded for controversial Lawrence road

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Work is expected to begin soon on a highway project in Lawrence that has been debated since the early 1990s.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is scheduled to award bids for the South Lawrence Trafficway on Sept. 18, and construction is expected to begin by mid-October or November.

The $190 million project has been stalled by protests and lawsuits for more than 20 years.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports (http://bit.ly/1cn83fn ) some of the first work is likely to occur in the Baker Wetlands, which has been center of the debate. Opponents say the project will damage the wetlands and is disrespectful to Native American groups.

Kansas officials say the road will divert traffic around Lawrence. Once completed, the 14-mile route will connect Interstate 70 with Kansas 10.