Months of concern and planning apparently paid off for a Lawrence neighborhood group Tuesday night, as it seemed pleased with a new intersection alignment along the proposed South Lawrence Trafficway.
A dozen Indian Hills Neighborhood Assn. members heard John Pasley, trafficway manager, describe the new alignment where the trafficway will intersect Louisiana and 31st streets.
The proposal, now under review by the Kansas Department of Transportation, would alter the routes of both 31st and Louisiana streets. The new plan envisions 31st Street angling southeastward to intersect the trafficway. Louisiana Street will be altered to intersect 31st Street west of the 31st Street-trafficway intersection.
THE CURRENT 31st and Louisiana streets intersection no longer will exist, Pasley explained. The trafficway originally would have intersected Louisiana Street south of the 31st and Louisiana intersection. In October, neighborhood residents voiced displeasure with that alignment because they thought it would encourage more truck traffic on Louisiana Street.
Pasley said the new alignment should discourage trucks from exiting the trafficway to go north on Louisiana. He said truck drivers would not want to make two 90-degree turns, one from the trafficway to 31st Street, the other from 31st Street to Louisiana, to go north on Louisiana.
A traffic light at the intersection of the trafficway and 31st Street still is being studied, Pasley said.
"WE HAVE, in our cost estimates, put stop lights in there," he said.
The speed limit near the intersection at the 14.1-mile trafficway likely would be 45 mph, Pasley said.
Another aspect of the new alignment will be three bridges over Naismith Creek, which will be rerouted slightly to enter the Baker Wetlands. One bridge will be over the new part of Louisiana Street. Two bridges will be built parallel on the trafficway, which is scheduled to be four lanes when completed.
Walkways are planned on both sides of the creek under the bridges. The walkways will allow access to the Baker Wetlands without having to cross the trafficway.
PASLEY SAID the creek's channel will have to be cleaned out, but it will not have concrete walls to control its flow.
The trafficway will be raised about 10 feet in this area. Pasley said he did not know where builders would obtain the fill needed to elevate the roadway. Improvements also are scheduled for a roadway from the Wakarusa Township Fire Department, located off 31st Street east of Louisiana, to the trafficway.
At the end of the meeting, several residents thanked Pasley for taking action with their concerns.
Pasley also announced that the next public hearing on the trafficway is scheduled for late March.