Chat with Kansas Turnpike Engineer about Kansas River bridge replacement project

November 7, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Chat with KTA Chief Engineer David Jacobson about the plans to replace the two bridge spanning the Kansas River between the East and West Lawrence interchanges.

Moderator:

Hello. This is your moderator, 6News Director Cody Howard. Our thanks to David Jacobson for joining us today.

david jacobson:

Hello. Thanks for providing this opportunity.

Moderator:

For starters, please let us know how significant the impact will be on traffic flow on I-70 during the different phases of the project.

david jacobson:

We will maintain four lanes of traffic for the I-70 traffic a majority of the time. Temporary lane closures will be required at times but will only be allowed during off peak traffic periods.

Toto_the_great:

Will an environmental assessment be done t odetermine the effects of bridge construction on the stream bed?

david jacobson:

Yes. It was completed in the preliminary design phase.

Moderator:

What did it reveal?

david jacobson:

There will be restricted time periods that work within the river cannot occur due to concerns with certain species. Also, there were requirements to replant a number of trees. Otherwise we have been cleared to begin construction.

Moderator:

The bridge collapse in Minneapolis earlier this year brought bridge safety to the forefront across the country. The plans for the upgrades to the two Kansas River bridges were announced before that collapse, but what is known about the immediate safety of the bridges and are there any eminent concerns?

david jacobson:

We have been inspecting the Lawrence river bridges every two years and they had been inspected in 2006. After the tragic collapse in Minneapolis we had our bridges reinspected by our General Consult Engineers, HNTB Corporation. That inspection was completed a few weeks ago. No new concerns were reported following the inspection.

411mookie:

Is there going to be any special features to make this bridge attractive to people that drive thru Lawrence?

david jacobson:

No. We considered this but elected to build the most economical bridge we could.

Moderator:

In light of this project, what can motorists on the turnpike expect to see in the way of toll increases?

david jacobson:

Planned, incremental toll increases will occur every 3 to 4 years. The increases will be approximately 5%.

Moderator:

That concludes today's chat. Our thanks to David Jacobson for joining us.

david jacobson:

Again, thank you.

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