Archive for Monday, February 16, 2009

City, county consider which projects may prove most likely to receive stimulus funds

February 16, 2009


Given nearly $53 million, the city of Lawrence could tackle a long line of major transportation construction projects — and that’s only for the ones that could be under contract within a year.

But now that a federal stimulus bill is poised to pump an estimated $80 million into such projects for communities statewide, officials at City Hall aren’t getting greedy.

They’re focusing on priorities instead, and topping their list are projects that would begin rebuilding existing streets within a year — instead of waiting for as long as a decade to get the work going.

First priority: $6.6 million to rebuild Kasold Drive, from Clinton Parkway to 31st Street. Next come another three reconstruction projects, all tentatively lined up to be financed by revenues from a citywide sales tax approved by voters in November.

Using stimulus money instead could get those jobs done faster, City Manager David Corliss said, and therefore free up money for other reconstruction projects during the coming decade.

“We want our top-priority projects to be first in line,” Corliss said.

On Thursday, lists of recommended projects from both the city and Douglas County will be reviewed to ensure that they comply with planning guidelines, a prerequisite for qualifying for federal stimulus funds. The meeting of the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization is set for 4 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

The meeting also is scheduled to include an update from the Kansas Department of Transportation about how the stimulus bill, scheduled to be signed into law today by President Barack Obama, would be expected to address local needs.

Douglas County officials, for example, have compiled a list of $13.2 million in transportation projects that could use money from the stimulus program. Atop the county’s list is rebuilding a 2.3-mile stretch of the Farmers Turnpike, from the South Lawrence Trafficway west to County Road 1029, which heads north to Lecompton.

The estimated $2.6 million project — to widen lanes, add paved shoulders and improve sight lines for traffic — is “as ‘shovel ready’ as any project could be,” County Engineer Keith Browning has said.


jmadison 8 years, 11 months ago

Roundabouts at every intersection that has stop signs.

pooter 8 years, 11 months ago

Forget all that other crap If they can't build the SLT then rebuild 31st street, and install traffic signals at both intersections.


Orwell 8 years, 11 months ago

The irony, of course, is that Lynn Jenkins voted against the city getting any of these resources.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 11 months ago

Recall the the infrastructure sales tax and present it again for specific projects.

Godot 8 years, 11 months ago

The city will have to double the projected cost of the work, as true competitive bidding will not be allowed. The projects must be completed by union shops, and we all know what that means: higher cost, more waste, more red tape. Executive order. Soueeeee!

quimby 8 years, 11 months ago

Do NOT build the SLT. Fix existing roads and build more bike/ped trails.

jonmac 8 years, 11 months ago

jonmac (Anonymous) says…

The State of Kansas will recieve $27 million for transit projects. I would assume Lawrence should recive part of that money. Wouldn't it be nice if the City would bring the signal lights up to date all around the city. There is more fuel wasted sitting at an empty street crossing when no traffic is coming frome the other direction. I leave for work 5:45 in the morning just for I don't have to sit at an empty crossing. If I happen to leave a little later, and I hit the crossing at 6:00am, (when the lights change for morning traffic), guess what, I'm setting at Lawrence and 23rd. Why because the switch over green light lets traffic on Lawrence go first. I bet I could count on one hand how many time I have seen traffic coming off of Lawrence Ave. at that time of morning. Then we have to wait on the turn signal when no traffic is coming. This is only one example of the pour system this city has. What a way to go “GREEN”, in times like this, we all could use a little savings and what a better way of doing so by buying less fuel. I know there is a better system to direct traffic. Its been talked about before. Now would be a good time to up date the signal lights throughout the city.

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