Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2006

Kasold repairs may finish ahead of schedule, city says

September 28, 2006

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Chuck Soules, the city's director of Public Works, center, holds a sample of concrete mixture for other Public Works personnel to touch, as paving crews poured a new lane on Kasold Drive south of Bob Billings Parkway. Pouring of the new northbound section of Kasold, between 22nd Street and Bob Billings Parkway is expected to be completed by Friday. Soules was at the site observing Wednesday.

Chuck Soules, the city's director of Public Works, center, holds a sample of concrete mixture for other Public Works personnel to touch, as paving crews poured a new lane on Kasold Drive south of Bob Billings Parkway. Pouring of the new northbound section of Kasold, between 22nd Street and Bob Billings Parkway is expected to be completed by Friday. Soules was at the site observing Wednesday.

The rebuilding of a major portion of Kasold Drive is going so smoothly that city leaders said they now believe the project may be finished ahead of schedule.

Construction crews this week began laying concrete for the eastern lanes of the road, which is being rebuilt from 22nd Street to Bob Billings Parkway.

"They are really making some good progress," said Chuck Soules, the city's director of Public Works. "I think they are going to beat the (deadline) by a lot."

But the project has a deadline of early October 2007, which means it still will be nearly a year before the road is fully open.

Currently, traffic is limited to one lane in each direction on the four-lane road. But motorists should be encouraged by what they're seeing this week, Soules said.

Cement trucks and specialized paving machines are laying 10 inches of concrete reinforced with granite aggregate to make it less susceptible to deterioration.

Soules said city inspectors were carefully inspecting each load of concrete to ensure it meets new city specifications. City commissioners agreed to reconstruct the street with concrete rather than asphalt to improve its life expectancy.

A large section of the new northbound lane on Kasold, right,  has been poured and crews are continuing north toward the intersection of Kasold Drive and Bob Billings Parkway. Pouring of the northbound section is expected to be completed by Friday.

A large section of the new northbound lane on Kasold, right, has been poured and crews are continuing north toward the intersection of Kasold Drive and Bob Billings Parkway. Pouring of the northbound section is expected to be completed by Friday.

Soules said he anticipates traffic will be moved over to the new eastern lanes in November. At that time, work will begin on rebuilding the western lanes of the street, which will include the construction of a large retaining wall.

Soules was offering tours to city commissioners who wanted to check the progress of the $5.4 million project. Commissioners said they were impressed.

"It is a road that is being built to be there for a long time," said City Commissioner Sue Hack. "That's the best part."

The work began in May on what is one of the more expensive road projects the city has ever undertaken. It is the first time the city has completely rebuilt that heavily traveled section of street since the 1970s.

When finished, the road will continue to have two driving lanes in each direction, a new sidewalk on the west side of the road and a new median that will be more heavily landscaped than the current grass median.

Comments

Chicago_JHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Calm down. Once they add the curb to the west side of the roadway, it'll add another two feet to the overall width...then you'll have 2 14 foot wide lanes...just like now. Plus, the relaxed roadway profile (hills not as steep) will improve the traffic flow.

The new concrete won't have the horrific potholes that were all over the old road.

Chicago_JHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Thankyou, consumer. I was an intern with the City of Lawrence Public Works during Summer 1998 when they resurfaced Kasold the last time. They removed the old surface and saw that the roadbed was disintegrating and hoped that the resurface would last for 5 years before they had to replace the entire road...they made it last for 8, but it was riddled with potholes for the last 7!

lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

notice how the old portion is WIDER and the new portion is NARROWER? they said kasold wasn't going to be narrowed. guess they snuck that one in on us. something about calming the traffic and making it easier for people to sideswipe eachother. good going city of lawrence! nothing like having a bunch of control freaks running the show.

lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

i am going to guess but....i bet they LOWER the speed limit too! - just like new west 6th street got lowered 15 MPH. i have a hunch the speed limit will go from 40 MPH to 35 MPH on the new road. watch out for the police speed trap by the water tower!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 8 months ago

I hear it's going to be a beautiful sunny day, today. Doesn't that totally suck, luny? I bet it's the Kommission's fault.

justsomeinfo 8 years, 8 months ago

From the City Wed site:

Project Description The typical section includes four 11 ft. lanes, turning lanes at appropriate intersections, an 8 ft. wide sidewalk on the west side of the street, landscaped median, new water main and storm sewer. The street cross section includes a treated base and 10 in. concrete pavement. The project will maintain at least one lane of traffic in each direction during construction. The project has a specified completion date of October 6, 2007, with a $2,000/day penalty for completion after this date. An incentive is provided of $2,000/day for early completion, up to a maximum of $100,000.

lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

what exactly is my agenda plumberscrack?

chicago jhawk, being an intern 8 years ago doesn't mean the road is the same size as before -in fact i recall some last minute wranglings by the commish.

david - i mean 'bozo' - you and your ilk scaring off our population AND restricting everything in our city - making lawrence even more people and business UNfriendly might be your recipe for utopia - but it ain't mine. i think my opinion counts more than you and yours since i have lived in lawrence for over 40 years! notice how there aren't ANY long term residents supporting your crazy ideas? why must YOUR lawrence be weird and abnormal? why not try to give lawrence NORMALCY?

observer, not since marci francisco :)

webmocker 8 years, 8 months ago

I, too, have lived in Lawrence for over 40 years, yet I don't think that "... my opinion counts more than you and yours since i have lived in lawrence for over 40 years!" I'd say the persuasive value of an opinion depends on the evidence offered to support it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 8 months ago

You're right, luny. Since I've only been here for just short of 27 years, my opinions don't count as much as yours. And oh how obvious that extra thirteen years of wisdom is in all of your unfounded whining.

Chicago_JHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

lunacy - The story I shared about being an intern was simply something topical that I thought might be interesting. Perhaps I misunderstand, but you seem to be implying that the road repairs were not necessary, but rather some agenda being pushed by the City Commission. I'm saying that they WERE needed. Sorry.

Now, you're right...having been an intern 8 years ago has nothing to do with the width of the road. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, on the other hand, has a lot to do with the width of the road. There are minimum requirements that must be met, and the width of the old road was as narrow as allowed and COULD NOT be reduced and still meet the requirements. Thus, the width will remain the same.

lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

i have always advocated the replacement of kasold. when it was first proposed, the city indicated they wanted to replace the road but also reduce the width of the streets so people wouldn't drive as fast. after driving through the road construction yesterday, it appeared to me that the new road had been reduced in width - this is also taking into account the future curb on the west side of the new road. i wondered if it was an optical illusion, then i remembered right before the final approval of kasold by the city commission, it's approval was delayed due to some budgeting issues (according the JW) - they wanted to cut the costs. click on the photograph showing the new northbound lane and the old southbound lane. look at the black jeep commander heading south (it's above and to the left of the yellow bulldozer). measure the width of the old road with a ruler (if you like) then measure directly across to the new road (granted there isn't curbing on the west side and the angle will be slightly distorted) - it looks narrower to me. it measures narrower. the first proposal was to narrow kasold. take into account the last minute budget cut wranglings. take into account the history of how our city commissioners make major last second decisions. it is easy to surmise that new kasold is narrower.

then again, maybe i'm wrong, but i doubt it.

Chicago_JHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

The road could probably narrow if they plan to reduce the speed by perhaps 10mph, or if the previous road exceeded the design criteria (which is unlikely, but not impossible).

Somebody that lives in Lawrence should go out there tonight with a tape measure!

lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

i've been thinking about doing that (going out with a tape). for some reason i am thinking that old kasold was wider than typical, but i don't have the time to research this.

hipper_than_hip 8 years, 8 months ago

They've saved the roundabouts for North Kasold between Peterson and the KTA bridge. Three roundabouts in one-half mile to be exact!

lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

i'm quite surprised no more responses (no i'm not) from bozo, plumberscrack or even webmocker. I'd say my persuasive value of opinion was proven with the evidence I offered to support it.

Michael Stanclift 8 years, 8 months ago

It's a matter of public record, go look it up if you're that interested.

lunacydetector 8 years, 7 months ago

thanks justsomeinfo! if i use chicago jhawk's example of a typical street - 2, 14' lanes then the city did indeed reduce the size of the lanes - 22' (new) VS 28'(old). this also means the city lied to the public by stating they were not going to narrow the street.

Chicago_JHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I should point out that the estimated lane widths that I cite earlier include the gutter widths (typically they are not included for a new street, but that becomes a bit of a gray area on streets that have been resurfaced, b/c the gutter is paved over). That said, maybe I'm wrong altogether. I'm surprised that the new road will have only 11' lanes. Since Kasold is not a KS or US highway (at least I don't think so), then the design guidlelines may be less strict.

lunacydetector 8 years, 7 months ago

I have been vindicated. David Woosley the city's traffic engineer said reconstructed Kasold IS being reduced in width. This comes AFTER the city commission said they were NOT going to reduce the width. late night, last minute shenanigans yet again being displayed by our commish. i thought liberals never lied or kept secrets :)

http://www2.ljworld.com/chats/2006/oct/03/david_e_woosley/

justsomeinfo 8 years, 7 months ago

actually lunacy, the street width was talked about at the commission meetings, no late nights, no secrets. the decision was to reduce the width of the lanes and lower the speed limit on Kasold out of safety. there is a limited amount of right-of-way to work with-in and a major need for a sidewalk/bike path. there was a number of options brought to the table (5 i think was the final number) this one won the most support. it is a lose/lose all around, but better then what was there before, people walking the median and cyclists trying to climb the hill in an unprotected traffic lane. it is hard to make a diamond out of coal overnight.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

"how many bicyclists ride kasold as it sits today?"

Not many-- it's extremely bike unfriendly. Perhaps the new design will encourage greater use.

lunacydetector 8 years, 7 months ago

i recall out of all the articles regarding kasold there were two articles in the JW mentioning the width. one of the original articles said it was suggested kasold be narrowed. then later on before final approval, there was another article saying it wasn't going to be narrowed. i guess the blame lies on the JW? or, do i have to watch every single city commission meeting from beginning to end to get all the facts?

the reporting left the impression that kasold was not going to be narrowed. also, why lower the speed limit on kasold when kasold is one of two 4-lane roads that are used as an alternative to iowa street? this is assinine. wouldn't a 4' sidewalk work as well? why 8' freaking feet? does the cost of THAT justify the means?

how many accidents have happened along kasold that it justifies lowering the speed limit (not including accidents caused by the gigantic pot holes)? how many bicyclists ride kasold as it sits today?

justsomeinfo 8 years, 7 months ago

you know the only way to know the truth is to be present when the discussion occurs. relying on anything else will leave you disappointed.

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