Drivers looking to avoid the intermittent delays to be triggered by installation of bridge beams across North Third Street — a project expected to start as early as 8:30 a.m. Friday, but could be delayed until early next week, depending on weather — soon could have an alternate route.
Today, crews from Hamm Cos. will try to reopen East 1500 Road, which runs north-south between U.S. Highway 24-40 north of the turnpike and North Street in North Lawrence. A section of the road has been damaged since summer, and Hamm intends to place gravel over the stretch, in hopes of making it passable.
If the work isn’t possible — the road’s base could be too wet to support the gravel and the weight of traffic — the road will remain closed, said Keith Browning, director of public works for Douglas County.
“If we can’t get it passable, people will just have to endure the short-term stoppage of traffic for the bridge work,” Browning said.
Going another mile east, to East 1600 Road, would defeat the purpose of avoiding North Third Street, he said. That’s because using that unofficial detour would take longer than the 10 minutes expected for each temporary closure of North Third Street.