Archive for Tuesday, August 28, 2007

U.S. Highway 59 to be repaved

August 28, 2007


It's like a preseason game for road builders.

For much of September and October, crews will be repaving U.S. Highway 59 between south Lawrence and the Douglas County line, even though all of Highway 59 is scheduled to be rebuilt in 2010.

"We're just asking everybody to be patient," Kim Qualls, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Transportation, said of the upcoming repaving. "The delays could be up to 15 minutes."

Work is scheduled to begin Sept. 5. Crews generally will work Monday through Saturday during daylight hours.

On parts of the road, traffic will be restricted to one lane - usually for a mile stretch - and motorists will have to follow a pilot car through the construction zone. Qualls stressed that much of the road will be open to two-lane traffic.

The project is slated to cost $1.3 million. Douglas County will be the beneficiary of most of the work. Part of the highway is slated to become a county frontage road after a new four-lane U.S. Highway 59 is completed between Ottawa and Lawrence. Other parts of the existing road will be torn out to make way for the new highway. Work already has begun on the Franklin County portion of the project. Work on the Douglas County section should start in fall 2008, and be completed in three years.

Qualls said KDOT leaders determined the existing road needed repairs, despite the pending project.

"Even though this road is going to be redone, they don't want it to fall apart before the new road is built," Qualls said. "There will still be a lot of people driving on the road for several more years."

Qualls said construction crews may take some Saturdays off to accommodate high-traffic events, such as on Oct. 20 for Baldwin City's Maple Leaf Festival.


Centrist 10 years, 8 months ago

Perfectly fine if you like riding over bumps every 50 yards ...

nekansan 10 years, 8 months ago

Very useful article..... When the heck is the project scheduled to be completed?

farmgal 10 years, 8 months ago

"For much of September and October, crews will be repaving U.S. Highway 59". Probably a couple of months?

ouroboros 10 years, 8 months ago

KDOT - will the paving include those parts of Hiway 59 that will be demolished for the new project? If so, why? It's understandable to pave parts of the highway that will be turned over to the county, but why spend the $$ to pave something that will be torn up and removed in the next year? How much of the existing US59 roadway will be used for the new highway?

farmgal 10 years, 8 months ago

ouroboros, "Why spend the $$ to pave something that will be torn up..." It's the American way--typical wasteful government spending.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 8 months ago

Texans have been raisng hell over the NAFTA highway project according to radio news.

situveux1 10 years, 8 months ago

Repave 59 and do nothing to 19th St. Thanks, I needed a good laugh.

riverdrifter 10 years, 8 months ago

Logrithmic is spot-on: the road is fine and this is a total waste of money. How can we stop this boondoogle? Good grief. What a bunch of horses hit.

tkeagle1 10 years, 7 months ago

Believe it or not there is a reason they are doing this. Much of the old road will be handed to the county to take care of, once the new road is built. KDOT usually does any repairs needed before this is done. #2 Now that the construction of the 4 lane is started, there will be area's, or sections of the old HWY 59 that will have more then double the truck traffic that normally runs over that HWY. Maybe even more then double. The dirt work alone could reach into the millions of cubic yards. This doesn't include concrete, rock, steel, and what ever else need to be hauled on this road to the project. So just because the road looks fine now, doesn't mean within 1 year it couldn't start falling apart with all the new truck traffic. The best time to do it is now, before too much gets started on the project.
Why put money into sections that will be torn out later? This I'm guessing would be because it would cost more in the long run not to do anything with these sections of road. If you had a contract out for bid that paves 3 miles, skips 2 miles, paves 2 miles, skips 1 mile, Ect: the contractor would bring the price up greatly just because he would half to pick up and re mobilize every time he came to certain sections of the project. Contractors like to place their machinery on the road, and move with out stopping. They make less money if they can only get out 1,500 tons a day compared to 3,000 tons. Plus, there would be extra cost in making a butt joint every time the contactor stops. Also, there is the factor that I brought up about the extra truck traffic. If KDOT did skip sections of the road, then more then likely there would be patching in those areas. More money. I know it sounds stupid up front, but if you take a look at the bigger picture, it's the best way to go.

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