As project manager on the South Lawrence Trafficway, John Pasley's calendar is filling up this fall as construction of the western portion of the road gets into full swing.
It's none too soon for Pasley, who has been anxious to get started since he was hired in 1991.
``It's what we've been working for here for the past three years,'' he said. ``Large projects don't always go as fast as one would hope or like.''
What this means for motorists who travel west of Lawrence is dust from bulldozers and occasional smoke from burning trees. But Pasley says he hasn't scheduled any detours for at least a month.
If the project stays on schedule, three years from now a nine-mile stretch of the two-lane road will route traffic from the Kansas Turnpike to a point near 35th and Iowa. Ultimately, the trafficway will continue to the east and connect with Kansas Highway 10.
Already, crews from Hamm Construction are grading the roadway north of the intersection of Douglas County Road 13 and U.S. Highway 40, which will connect with a turnpike interchange that will be built next year.
Crews also are grading along the south side of Highway 40, where more than one mile of that road will be rebuilt to accommodate a five-lane bridge that will rise over the intersection and form part of an interchange at that corner.
Pasley said the level of Highway 40 will be raised 20 feet. To increase visibility for drivers, plans call for whittling down some of the surrounding landscape.
``We're knocking off the tops of the hills to the east and west of 13,'' Pasley said.
County Road 13 will be moved near that intersection so that it meets Highway 40 atop the hill on the southwest corner of that intersection.
Within a month, Pasley expects Sherwood Construction Co. of Wichita to begin the two-year process of grading the 6.7-mile stretch south from Highway 40 and east to Iowa Street. Paving the road will take another year.
Sherwood also will begin building three bridges along the western stretch of the trafficway. Work on the first of them, which will be at the intersection of Douglas County Road 13 and Clinton Parkway, is likely to start next month, Pasley said.
Another bridge will span Yankee Tank Creek west of Kasold Drive and 31st and the third will carry traffic over Iowa Street to link with the eastern portion of the trafficway.
The bridge at Clinton Parkway and Douglas County Road 13 will be built on the northeast corner of that intersection. Pasley said that late next year or in 1996 the east end of Clinton Parkway will be moved about 500 feet north, where it will pass under the trafficway interchange.
From that intersection the trafficway will veer to the southeast, passing north of the Clinton Lake dam and through the intersection of Wakarusa Drive and 26th Street, then south across the Wakarusa River bottoms about a half mile south of Kasold and 31st and on to Iowa Street.