Trespassing on Linear Trail and areas surrounding where levee construction is continuing, will be more strictly enforced starting next week.

The City of Manhattan says beginning Monday, anyone caught in the restricted area surrounding the Kansas River and Big Blue River levee project will be subject to criminal charges that could lead to an arrest and prosecution. Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr says work is progressing to a new stage that will see a large increase in heavy equipment traffic and building materials.

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That area has been restricted to the public since construction began in February, from South Manhattan Ave., north to Casement Road and Hayes Drive. Fehr says the project won’t be wrapped up anytime soon.

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Detail of restricted trespass area at center of levee system where Big Blue, Kansas rivers meet (City of Manhattan courtesy graphic)
Detail of restricted trespass area at south end of levee system where construction begins. (City of Manhattan courtesy graphic)

Fehr explains what the next phase will entail for the US Army Corps of Engineers.

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The city plans to begin conducting a cleanup and removal effort along the entirety of the levee and says any personal belongings from posted encampments found during the process will be removed and temporarily stored. Other items, such as garbage, metal, pallets, rigid plastics of other potentially hazardous materials will be disposed of properly.

The parking lot and boat ramp at the Blue River Access Area will remain open throughout this construction period.

Construction isn’t likely to be completed until sometime in 2024.