Archive for Wednesday, July 8, 2009

North Lawrence intersection poised for reconstruction

July 8, 2009


North Lawrence intersection work getting underway

Work begins later this month to rebuild a major North Lawrence intersection. Enlarge video

Work to rebuild a major intersection in North Lawrence could begin as early as July 20, as city officials welcome the hiring of a local contractor to handle the complicated task designed to improve driver safety and roadway drainage.

R.D. Johnson Excavating Co. Inc. will be paid $2.63 million to rebuild the intersection of North Second and Locust streets in North Lawrence, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced Wednesday. The intersection is just north of the Kansas River bridge.

The Lawrence-based contractor’s bid topped those from three other companies vying for the work:

• King’s Construction Co., Oskaloosa, $2,741,911.64.

• Emery Sapp & Sons, Columbia, Mo., $2,761,881.72.

• Mega Industries Corp., North Kansas City, Mo., $2,800,748.90.

In Lawrence, R.D. Johnson already is busy — and ahead of schedule — in overhauling and resurfacing Ninth Street, from Iowa to Tennessee streets. The company also served as the contractor who rebuilt Kasold Drive, from Bob Billings Parkway to Clinton Parkway, as part of yet another job that was finished early.

“R.D. Johnson has done a great job for us,” said Chuck Soules, public works director for the city of Lawrence, which is helping finance the upcoming work. “He is a local contractor, and that’s always good news.”

The latest project will add left-turn lanes along North Second at Locust, a change designed to improve traffic flow and boost safety. The work also will eliminate a “bump” in the intersection that has been in place at least since a giant sinkhole was filled in following drainage challenges in 1993.

More drainage inlets and pipes will be installed at the intersection, and a new waterline will be placed underground.

“It’s a good project,” Soules said.

It also will disrupt traffic.

The first phase of construction, set to begin later this month, will limit traffic heading south through the intersection to one lane, and block both lanes for traffic heading north. That traffic instead will be steered onto Elm Street, then over to North Third Street before being directed back onto North Second using Lyons Street.

That phase of the work will be expected to last into November, while the entire job will last into April, Soules said. The plan is to be finishing as the Kansas Turnpike starts its own reconstruction project that will close the East Lawrence interchange for eight months.

During the city’s work, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & medical plans to dispatch two emergency crews to each call in North Lawrence: one to arrive using North Second Street, and another to arrive using the Kansas Turnpike.

The project is being financed using a combination of federal, state and city revenues: $2 million from the federal economic-stimulus program, plus $500,000 provided through KDOT and another $300,000 from the city. The total budget includes money for inspections and other services.

The city originally had expected to state’s share to be closer to $1 million, but the federal stimulus program helped reduce the financial need. That means the state now has an “extra” $500,000 available for another project in Lawrence, and city officials already have lined it up to help defray expenses on next year’s planned reconstruction of Kasold Drive, from Clinton Parkway to 31st Street.


SeaFox 8 years, 11 months ago

"The company also served as the contractor who rebuilt Kasold Drive, from Bob Billings Parkway to Clinton Parkway, as part of yet another job that was finished early."

LOLWUT? Finished early? I seem to remember that being a project that ran long over time, wasn't that section closed for like an entire year? I also remember that being the portion that had to be redone before it was ever open to the public due to cracking in what was brand new concrete roadbed.

Tristan Moody 8 years, 11 months ago

Small correction--it's Lyon street, not Lyons.

Kat Christian 8 years, 11 months ago

Either way its going to be a NIGHTMARE trying to get to work and home everyday. So drivers going this way PLEASE pay attention, keep the lines moving, don't cause delays, don't rubberneck or gawk at the construction site and be considerate and aware of others, remember you aren't the only person on the road.

kmat 8 years, 11 months ago

We aren't very happy with the north bound route they are using as the detour. They are going to run all north bound traffic on a neighborhood street that has no sidewalks, cars constantly parked along it and tons of kids. Who was the "smart" person that thought 3rd St. would be a good route to divert all this traffic on? They obviously haven't ever been on that street. It's in pretty bad shape and should be destroyed after months of all of 2nd St's traffic being diverted onto it.

Are they going to ban semi's from using this detour? People don't deserve to have semi's rolling past their houses in this residential neighborhood. They also need to ban semi's from exiting at the east Lawrence exit and force them to use the Iowa St. exit.

Pretty sad that for my husband to get to work downtown he will most likely have to now take I-70 to Iowa St. then head down 6th St. because it will be quicker than trying to navigate the cluster f*ck they're creating. Just one little wreck on the bridge can back traffic up for a long time. One lane each way will guarantee that I-70 and then backtracking will be quicker than waiting to get through this mess.

Music_Girl 8 years, 11 months ago

This is going to make my daily commute suck hardcore. It may be faster to go through Lecompton to get to sad is that??

naturalist 8 years, 11 months ago

Does anyone take into account the northerly commuter routes? I sure hope Farmers Turnpike, Co 438, is open back up before this other work begins or we're rerouted no matter how we go.

frank regnier 8 years, 11 months ago

Wow, how close are those bids for the job? Does anyone know just how the bidding process works? It seems strange that the same company wins the bid again only by a slight margin. Are the bids accepted at the same time so each company does not have an idea of what the other companies are bidding? Just wondering if the bidding process is fair? Will someone please bid on fixing potholes on our street which several residents have called and failed to get the city to fix.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

kmat: small correction. n. 3rd does have a sidewalk on the west side between elm and locust. I agree with your criticism about the route but where else should they route this traffic? send it down elm to 7th?
yes, authorities need to put officers and signage on the pike interchange and on 6th south of the river to keep trucks out of this

how crazy is this: dispatch two sets of emergency vehicles for emergency calls in north lawrence???

what if an accident happens on the turnpike?

the authorities have been asked repeatedly to station at least a firetruck in north lawrence, like at the city's recycling center. if not there, there are a couple other places worth considering.

please city/LDCFM folks, reconsider your current plan for the construction period!

Kat Christian 8 years, 11 months ago

Ah Kmat I'm so sorry - I would know just how you feel having all that traffic coming down your street. it's going to be a nightmare in epic proportions. They should just do the work at night and one weekends when traffic is lighter. Or close one side at a time. Comsumer that is one of the things they are doing putting in drain pipe to avoid that flood under the RR bridge.
I wish they would repave Barker Street between 15th & 19th.

Kat Christian 8 years, 11 months ago

I'm going to hate when cars try to pull out onto Locust from the stop sign. Most people seems to want to wait until ever fricken car for a mile is no where in sight before they pull out into traffic. Anybody every heard about MERGING into traffic? Do you know how? This is where your backup will be right on 3rd street.

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