U.S. Highway 59
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.