Archive for Sunday, July 15, 2007

Fast work

Projects being finished well ahead of schedule always good news.

July 15, 2007

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The city of Lawrence is on a roll with its major construction projects. About a week ago, the reconstruction of Kasold Drive from Bob Billings Parkway to 22nd Street was completed and the street reopened to traffic more than three months ahead of schedule. On Friday, the city announced that a project to replace waterlines in the 900 and 1000 blocks of Massachusetts Street was almost finished and Massachusetts would be open by the end of the day, more than a month before its scheduled completion.

So, not only will Massachusetts Street be open well ahead of Kansas University's fall semester, it even will be open to traffic in time for next Thursday's popular Downtown Sidewalk Sale. That's wonderful news for merchants who have had to suffer through street closings and pedestrian hazards.

This is the third year that crews from Nowak Construction of Goddard have worked on waterlines in Lawrence's downtown, and their familiarity with the area may have helped speed work along, according to city officials. For finishing the work ahead of schedule, the firm will receive between $20,000 and $30,000 in incentives.

Having the street done so far ahead of schedule is well worth the additional expense for the city, for downtown merchants and businesses, and for shoppers and other downtown visitors.

Whatever has led to this string of early project completions, it's a welcome development. Perhaps city officials can share their secrets with the crews building the Kansas River bridge at Lecompton and those in charge of construction projects on the Kansas Turnpike.

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