Sometime next year, motorists driving at four of Lawrence's most dangerous intersections should be able to slide through more safely, thanks to $1.33 million in federal grants approved last week.
Mayor Bob Moody waited until the end of Tuesday night's weekly city commission meeting to announce the good news.
"That's good," he said, complimenting City Manager Mike Wildgen, who in turn noted traffic engineer David Woosley's diligent work. "We appreciate it."
One grant will enable the city to spend $600,000 reorganizing the intersection of 23rd and Massachusetts streets, including installation of new traffic signals.
The Kansas Department of Transportation recommends adding left-turn lanes on 23rd and a right-turn lane for southbound traffic on Massachusetts. But no specific plans have been approved, Wildgen said.
City officials want to investigate the situation themselves to determine possible effects. If buying land would be necessary to add turn lanes, for example, the city may decide it's not worth it, he said.
The city also will receive $600,000 to add left-turn lanes at the intersection of Sixth Street and Monterey Way for traffic heading in all directions. New traffic signals also would be installed.
The remaining money would go toward upgrading existing signals at two intersections: Sixth and Iowa streets ($60,000) and 23rd and Iowa streets ($70,000).
Wildgen said construction on all four projects likely would occur next year, although the signal upgrades could start sooner.
The city's financial responsibility for each project has not yet been determined, but it must provide engineering services and land for each.
Woosley, the city's traffic engineer, compiled grant applications for the four qualifying intersections and others he found to have experienced high accident rates during the past year.