After idling for more than two decades, a road-realignment project near Clinton Lake is rolling toward construction.
Banning's Corner -- the 90-degree-angle curve on Douglas County Road 458 just below the Clinton Lake dam -- will be replaced with a banked, half-mile-long curve as part of a $450,000 project cleared Monday by county commissioners.
Keith Browning, the county's engineer and director of public works, said construction was expected to begin a year from now and be completed by the end of 2005. About 2,100 vehicles make the curve each day.
Plans for the project have been on the county's shelf since 1983. The work calls for eliminating the corner's sharp curve -- which has a posted speed limit of 15 mph, down from 55 mph on either side -- where there have been 26 accidents since 1997.
Browning said he would work to secure permission to proceed from two governments with vested interests in the project: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the land, and the city of Lawrence, which leases the land from the corps.
The project is among those endorsed by commissioners as part of their capital improvements plan, including:
- $80,000 to help the city of Lawrence finance installation of traffic signals at 31st Street's intersections at Haskell Avenue and at Louisiana Street, a project suggested for 2006.
- $190,000 to assist Eudora in rebuilding Main Street, north from 10th Street to railroad tracks, in 2006.
- $445,203 to help Baldwin finance reconstruction of Sixth Street, south of Indiana Street, in 2008 -- or earlier, if requested by Baldwin officials.
- $3.54 million to combine with financing from Jefferson County to put a new deck on the Kansas River bridge along County Road 1029, just north of Lecompton, in 2007.
- $3.73 million to contribute to the possibility of an interchange being built along the South Lawrence Trafficway at 15th Street, a prospect envisioned for 2010.
Commissioners also approved $152,219 for a new layer of pavement, including new roadside shoulders, for Stull Road, formerly known as Douglas County Road 442, between East 318 Road and a bridge just west of Stull. Officials expect construction to begin later this month and be completed in two or three weeks.