Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

City to fix notorious bump in road

April 8, 2006

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Lawrence Public Works Department workers Tom Orzulak, left, and Bryce Campbell discuss preliminary plans for an interim solution to fixing the bump at the intersection of 2nd and Locust streets before major construction on the intersection begins in 2007. The workers explained that they will begin working Monday in an effort to temporarily fix the problem.

Lawrence Public Works Department workers Tom Orzulak, left, and Bryce Campbell discuss preliminary plans for an interim solution to fixing the bump at the intersection of 2nd and Locust streets before major construction on the intersection begins in 2007. The workers explained that they will begin working Monday in an effort to temporarily fix the problem.

The ride into North Lawrence is about to get smoother.

City Hall said that crews would begin working Monday on a temporary repair to the bump that rattles northbound drivers at the intersection of North Second and Locust streets, in front of Johnny's Tavern.

State officials said construction on a permanent fix could begin by the end of the year.

The news comes a week after a special-needs teen was injured in an accident apparently caused by the bump.

"I think it should've been done a long time ago," said Reba Baker, the grandmother of 15-year-old Billy Baker. "They've fixed just about everything else in town; they should've fixed that."

Billy, who is autistic and legally blind, was walking along the east side of the road with his father shortly before noon April 1 when a trailer attached to a Toyota sport utility vehicle detached, came onto the sidewalk and struck him.

The boy's grandfather, Coye Baker, had threatened to block the intersection today if repairs weren't made. He was unavailable for comment Friday while visiting Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where Billy was undergoing skin-graft surgery on his injured right leg.

"I really think he's doing as good as possible," Reba Baker said of her grandson.

City crews were seen scouting the intersection Friday morning. Reba Baker said that Chuck Soules, the city's Public Works director, had told her that workers would smooth the bump with asphalt.

Soules did not return calls seeking comment, but a city news release stated that starting at 9 a.m. Monday, northbound traffic would be re-routed onto Elm Street while the repair is under way. The fix should be complete by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Video

David Corliss on the North Lawrence bump. Enlarge video

City and state officials had said a full-scale renovation of the intersection wouldn't happen until October 2007, but Joe Blubaugh, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Transportation, said the project could be put up for bid by the end of the year and construction could possibly begin soon after.

"That's our goal," he said.

Blubaugh said that City Hall had asked for the speedier schedule.

"We have absolutely no problem doing that," he said.

Mayor Mike Amyx said the city was ready to pay its 20 percent of the $1.75 million cost of the project, even a year ahead of schedule.

"I think it's something that we've obviously had as a priority," Amyx said, "and I think if KDOT's willing to move it up on their priority list, we should do it."

Intersection of North Second and Locust

Comments

trenthom 9 years ago

Has it been explored whether or not the Toyota SUV that was pulling the rather large trailer was even capable of carrying such a load? I've seen the trailer and I doubt a Toyota could handle it safely. Were there safety chains attached to assure the trailer didn't come loose from the vehicle? I agree the bump is bad, but I think the vehicle involved should be scrutinized as well.

9 years ago

I would like to take this opportunity to make people aware of person-first language. The writer for this story wrote, "...special-needs teen..." What he should have wrote, "...the teen with special needs..." This teen is a person first, then a person with special needs.
We need to be aware of how we are speaking/writing and that we are not offending others.

Isaythis 9 years ago

WOW dose this mean we are not going to protest darn!

jayhawks71 9 years ago

mindspeaking, meaning is in your mind. meaning is your perception. sure, teen with special needs would be the BETTER of a handful of options, but special-needs teen, when put in the context of alternatives such as "disabled (with no referent noun)" or "mentally challenged (again with no referent noun)" is just fine. In English it is comman and even parsimonious to place the adjective before the noun that it modifies.

We change words (on a regular basis) because people perceive them negatively. One's inference and another's interpretation will always be different, and in due time, special needs will be replaced with something else that SEEMS, temporarily to be better.

Get over trashing a SMALL-TOWN JOURNALIST(or is it "person with public writing profession, population below 100, 000?") for using GOOD terminology if not the BEST terminology. At least words were spelled properly.

Richard Heckler 9 years ago

Why not fix it right at this point in time. KDOT apparently knows the money will be there so why not do it correctly now and send the bill to KDOT with our 20% attached?? Thus saving the cost of a band-aid.

mikeamyx515@hotmail.com">p>mikeamyx515@hotmail.com dschauner@sunflower.com Mike Rundle mike@mikerundle.org Sue Hack suehack@sunflower.com, Boog Highberger boog@lawrence.ixks.com

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

"some folks have to search all day to find something that offends them"

That certainly isn't you, Macon. You seem to be permanently offended.

kansas_prairieland 9 years ago

Like everyone else here, I'm glad that this bump is going to be fixed.

However, I still think that it's both sad and disgusting that someone was seriously hurt before somebody (in this case, the city) finally decided to do something about it!!!

I guess Lawrence's motto is........whatever it is in this city that's wrong or dangerous, we won't worry about it and/or fix it until someone is either killed (or almost killed) because of it!!

djazz 9 years ago

What would you call a teen who bats right handed? You couldn't call him or her a "right handed batter?" - like "special needs teen."

Jay Bird 9 years ago

Posted by trenthom Has it been explored whether or not the Toyota SUV that was pulling the rather large trailer was even capable of carrying such a load? I've seen the trailer and I doubt a Toyota could handle it safely. Were there safety chains attached to assure the trailer didn't come loose from the vehicle? I agree the bump is bad, but I think the vehicle involved should be scrutinized as well.

That Land Cruiser was more than big enough to handle that trailer. I have a smaller SUV that I pull a tandem trailer with 2 rails, 2 quads, and a mig welder safely all the time. If your on the outside line, it can be quite a hand full no matter how big your rig is. It's a risk to take the inside lane due to the idiots going to Johnny's who seem to think they don't need to use their turn signals.
Before you blame the driver stating you don't think his rig could handle that trailer safely, try driving the speed limit with or without a trailer in that lane. You'll be in for a ride. This repair has been a long time a coming. Hell, I'll be happy if they don't put a round-a-bout there. I bet their try to see if one would fit.

MJ Allen 9 years ago

I can't believe it, I already threw away all of my spoons -for nothing!

bthom37 9 years ago

As someone who crosses that ungodly bump 5 days a week to go to work in N. Lawrence, for the last 1.5 years, I can safely say that this is long overdue. If you don't want your car rattled, then you have to go approximately 30-35mph over the bump (dependent on car, of course). Hitting that at 50 (which, of course I would never do, and only did once ;) hurts. You're not expecting to lose that much ground contact at a seemingly fairly level intersection.

And yes, it is unfortunate that someone had to be badly injured for this to become any sort of priority.

"I think it's something that we've obviously had as a priority," Amyx said, "and I think if KDOT's willing to move it up on their priority list, we should do it."

My fanny this has been a priority. The most they've done is fix the potholes from the intersection to the bridge.

adky 9 years ago

The bump is bad, but the trailer should never have separated from the SUV. Operating a vehicle that can separate is gross negligence. First a ball and socket coupling will never separate unless it is either, - not correctly attached, - mismatched size of ball and socket - badly worn ball and socket creating size mismatch

Secondly the trailer should have had safety chain(s) attached to prevent it breaking away.

It is easy to blame the city. Individual responsibilty has died.

bthom37 9 years ago

It's easy to avoid potholes, too, adky. Just swerve a lot. It's other people's individual responsibility to avoid you.

And had the police felt this was the driver's fault, I'm sure they would have arrested, or at least ticketed, him. But there's no mention of that in the article.

glockenspiel 9 years ago

Safety chains don't do crap by the way...especially if the front of the trailer is thrust up abruptly. Its usually just a chain hanging around the ball hitch.

The driver was obviously going too fast for the bump because he didn't see it. I've driven that bump more times than I can count. It's difficult to see unless you know its there. It needs to be fixed.

But what are the chances that some one happened to be walking there when this happened? That's got to be a 1 in a million...

trueninetiesgirl 9 years ago

my daughter went to school with billy at woodlawn elm.billy is blind he did'nt even have a chance to move he never seen it comming. i hope all goes well for billy my daughter is very worried about him. they share a special bond they are both special people.with special needs.

adky 9 years ago

I repeat, there is no way if this rig had been used correctly and was properly maintained, that the trailer could have broken away from the towing vehicle. Safety chains do work, but they should be of sufficient strength and should be securely attached to the drawbar, not just "hanging around the ball hitch". In order to get federal money KS should have these laws in their statute. If not people should be wisely lobbying for them to prevent future tragedies. This sort of accident happens all the time. The reason I have an interest in this stuff is that two kids of a good friend of mine were killed in just such an accident 20 years ago. The guy had a 1 7/8" ball with a 2" socket. Neither had seen grease in many years and were badly worn. He had no safety chain. At the time he had broken no specific laws in that state. However he lost a civil case for negligence.

Here's an analogy to get you going. Bumps don't kill people, people driving too fast with bad vehicles kill people.

Wilbur_Nether 9 years ago

Pilgrim noted mindspeaking's post regarding the use of people-first language, commenting: "A difference without distinction...." This is untrue. The distinction is one of showing respect to the fact that the teen is a person. That individual's personhood is primary, and the special needs is secondary to the personhood. As a result, it behooves the careful, respectful, and aware communicator to use the phrasing mindspeaking suggested.

I didn't perceive, incidentally, mindspeaking's post to have a tone of offendedness, macon47. Merely sharing a point of view and a request that we be more aware of how we communicate not only to, but also about each other. I think it makes sense, Pilgrim.... I have read enough of your posts to know that you expect to be respected as a person and an individual first, and have your life-situation simply be something that influences your approach to and perspective on life's issues. I encourage you to show others the same.

Wilbur_Nether 9 years ago

I would hope it makes me a person who respects others, classclown, rather than one who chooses name-calling over substantively discussing issues.

classclown 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

compmd 9 years ago

I am going to back up Marion here with a concise and elegant statement that cannot be argued with:

F=ma.

It seems many people don't really grasp that.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years ago

I've been driving over that bump every weekday for several years. When I read some of these comments from our governing officials, I'm sort of disappointed. You don't have to be an engineer to know that the road wasn't supposed to be like that, and at the very least, it was knocking years off of the cars that were going through that intersection.

Don't they realize that 1) nearly all drivers speed, and 2) most will speed even more when going downhill? Safety is not always about posting warning signs and speed limits. Sometimes the general public needs the authorities to help us in greater ways than that. The potential for something bad to happen was there, and anyone with an ounce of sense already knew that prior to this accident.

Shardwurm 9 years ago

I'm sick of PC. I've got better things to do than worry about whether he's a teen with special needs or a special needs teen.

In fact, I believe your use of the word 'teen' is inappropriate. Isn't he a human before a teen? I believe 'teen' categorizes him as someone less mature. Also, 'special needs' seems to be a bit troublesome and obviously indicates a handicap.

So perhaps it should be written "a human with unique requirements" or "a human with unusual capabilities" or perhaps just "a human". That would eliminate all bias entirely...unless you're from PETA.

dizzy_from_your_spin 9 years ago

Not living in or familiar with Lawrence, a photo of this hazard would sure be nice (not that the picture of the City worker pointing at something wasn't helpful). Is it a dip, a bump, a pothole or ___? Right now I'm imagining something similar to what Winter Olympic skiers face. What was the drivers statement and officers conclusion in the LPD report? (It's a public record, LJW.) Speed of the vehicle and the posted speed limit?

bearded_gnome 9 years ago

City and state officials had said a full-scale renovation of the intersection wouldn't happen until October 2007, but Joe Blubaugh, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Transportation, said the project could be put up for bid by the end of the year and construction could possibly begin soon after.

"That's our goal," he said.

Blubaugh said that City Hall had asked for the speedier schedule.

"We have absolutely no problem doing that," he said.

rhymes with "poobah?"

classclown 9 years ago

When you say get off our throwns, do you mean catapults or something else?

classclown 9 years ago

Wow! I had a post removed. I guess I'm part of an elite club now huh? Not because I said anything bad mind you, but because some pc fruitcake got his widdle feewings hurt.

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