Chat about road construction and the condition of city streets with Chuck Soules
August 23, 2006
This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.
Chuck Soules is the director of Public Works for the city of Lawrence. He oversees maintenance of streets, the airport, levee, building and fleet maintenance, traffic signals and signs, solid waste, and the 900 block of New Hampshire parking garage.
We're ready to begin today's chat with Lawrence Public Works Director Chuck Soules. Chuck, thanks for joining us today.
Thanks, I'm looking forward to the questions.
When can we expect the construction/repair of Kasold to be complete? Also, what, exactly, are they doing? Thank you!
Well we Have three Kasold projects - Bob Billings Parkway to 22nd Street, THE KASOLD BRIDGE OVER THE KTA, and Kasold North of Peterson to the KTA.
I'm assuming the question referrs to Kasold from BBP to 22nd.
The east side, north bound lanes are projected to be completed this year so that traffic can be moved and the west side, southbound lanes can be removed.
The entire project will not be completed until fall 2007.
The project includes the total reconstruction of the road, storm sewer, waterline, and an eight foot sidewalk will be constructed on the west side.
When will the bridge over the Turnpike at Kasold
be finished? Is Kasold going to be 4 lane all the
way to the Farmer's Turnpike?
The Kasold Bridge project will not be complete until next summe. This project was a cooperative effort of the City, County, State (KDOT) and KTA. The bridge is wide enough for a future four lanes however will be striped for two. The road north of the bridge is not included in this project.
However Kasold south of the bridge will be under construction very soon after the first of the year. This section of road will take a year to complete and will be rebuilt. Access over the KTA via this bridge will not be available until after the road project is complete
Mr. Soules, How many projects can the City oversee at once? How do you decide when a project is important? For example, a project as large as the 6th st. project, aside from traffic flow, what other factors were there that typically helped you priotise which street and or intersection was to be worked on when?
I have noticed many of the streets downtown and close to downtown are in need of new paint for crosswalks, dividers etc. is this something scheduled to happen soon?
The City staff oversees a number of projects. A number of factors are considered in prioritizing projects including:
safety, future traffic demands, infrastructure condition, community concerns, City goals, and opportunity (availibility of outside funding).
With our mill and overlay program those streets are prioritized from our street condition survey. Staff recently completed an evaluation of the condition of the streets in the City and based on those scores we have developed a maintenance program.
Pavement markings are a maintenance issue. The brick inlay crosswalks also need a lot of maintenance. Our Traffic Division is in charge of this program. Typically we have a painting contract in the fall. we will review the areas downtown to see if they should be done this year.
Since moving to Lawrence from Lenexa two years ago, I have noticed a severe disparity in the quality of the driving surfaces around town. The populations of each city are fairly comparable, why are Lawrence roads (when held against Lenexa's standard) falling apart? What is the city planning to do about the poor quality of our streets?
The City has recently completed a comprehensive review of the streets in Lawrence and have presented to the City Commission a multi-year maintenance program to bring the City streets up to an acceptable condition. in 2006 the budget was increased for crack sealing and overlay programs. In 2007 the community will see even more work being completed. Unfortunately that also means more "orange barrels" but in the next few years we are expecting the overall pavement conditions to improve.
I understand that Lawrence has invested a great deal of money into placing sensors at signaled intersections. However, these sensors seem remarkably insufficient during peak traffic flow hours on Iowa, Sixth and 23rd. Has Lawrence considered a mathematical syncronization of the signals so travelling at or near the speed limit would result in a freer flowing artery? The biggest concern with such sensors is they detect breaks in traffic from the "red" at the prior signal. Once the sensor changes the sequence, traffic from down the road finally reaches it, causing continual backup.
Most of the City traffic signals are using video detection, a few are still on loop detection. The main corridors 6th Street, Iowa, 23rd Street are programmed for peak time and coordinated along those areas. The City is currently looking to improve the operation of our signal systems through a program with the KDOT called ITS (intellegent Transportation Systems) which will provide us with improved coordination and timing.
Unfortunately, we're out of time. Thanks for chatting with us, Chuck. There were a few questions we didn't have time to cover. How can our readers find an answers to questions specific to their homes?
Thanks, if chatters have additional questions they can email me through the Public Works page on the Citys web site or call the PW office. I would be more than happy to answer additional questions.