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Archive for Tuesday, April 28, 2009

High water suspends turnpike bridge work

Heavy rains provoked rising waters on the Kansas River, flooding the construction site of the I-70 bridge and delaying the project's progress.

Heavy rains provoked rising waters on the Kansas River, flooding the construction site of the I-70 bridge and delaying the project's progress.

April 28, 2009

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Crews from United Contractors suspended work Monday and Tuesday on construction of a new Kansas Turnpike bridge over the Kansas River, as water levels continued to rise along the river banks because of recent rain.

The two-day delay — to continue until river levels recede — shouldn’t affect the overall schedule for the $130 million project, said Rex Fleming, the turnpike’s project engineer.

“When you work in the river, you have to plan on water coming up once in a while,” Fleming said. “It’s been muddy down there for a couple months now — they’re used to working in mud — but running water isn’t good for us.”

Crews spent Monday moving equipment and supplies to higher ground, Fleming said, but still couldn’t keep everything dry. Work was suspended Tuesday on the river bridge, although a crane was able to maneuver from atop a new bridge being built across North Third Street in North Lawrence.

“Nothing’s floated away,” Fleming said.

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