Archive for Friday, July 24, 2009

North Second and Locust closures on hold for at least a week

July 24, 2009, 12:10 p.m. Updated July 24, 2009, 1:46 p.m.

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Reconstruction of a major intersection in North Lawrence could begin by the end of next week.

Or not.

Crews from R.D. Johnson Excavating Co. Inc. continue to move forward with their plans for a $2.63 million overhaul of North Second and Locust streets, a project expected to force lane closures into early December.

By contract, construction had been expected to start as early as this past Monday, but questions about traffic-control plans and emergency-response capabilities already had prompted a delay of a week.

Now comes word that the Lawrence-based contractor is waiting for specialized traffic-signal equipment to arrive, so that it may be installed before construction will limit traffic on North Second to a single lane during construction.

The equipment will provide sensors that can read the approach of emergency vehicles, so that intersections can be cleared of traffic that might otherwise impede timely emergency responses.

“The traffic control plan’s done,” said Roger Johnson, CEO of R.D. Johnson. “Now all we’re waiting for is parts.”

Shoeb Uddin, city engineer, said that signs would be put up beginning Monday, to alert drivers of the upcoming lane closures. Minor clearing work could begin soon thereafter, but lane closures won’t be expected to occur until late in the week.

Uddin said that lane closures would begin by the end of the day Thursday, in time to permit construction to start in the intersection Friday. Johnson said he would have construction underway by Monday at the latest.

The delay in starting is pushing back the contractual completion date for the first phase of the project, which will include adding left-turn lanes on North Second at Locust.

The initial work includes plans for the project’s most constricting traffic patterns: Vehicles heading south on North Second will be limited to a single lane at Locust; traffic heading north will be steered onto a detour that includes Elm, North Third and — after crossing the Union Pacific railroad tracks — Lyon streets.

The closures and detour will be expected to last until the first phase of construction is done, a deadline originally set for late November but now moving into early December.

Johnson isn’t about to worry about the chances for inclement weather — or at least not yet.

“I’m not concerned,” Johnson said.

Earlier this week, Lawrence city commissioners agreed to spend about $30,000 during the project to place a dedicated Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical crew in North Lawrence during peak travel times in the mornings and evenings, Mondays through Saturdays. The decision came after residents in North Lawrence had expressed fears of emergency crews being unable to cross the Kansas River into North Lawrence because of the construction project.

Waiting to start construction has been worthwhile, Johnson said, to be sure that everyone’s safety concerns have been addressed.

The entire reconstruction project also includes adding drainage pipes and inlets at the intersection, installing a new water line, and eliminating a large “bump” in the intersection that has been in place since an underground drainage pipe was repaired there after flooding in 1993.

The reconstruction project is scheduled to be finished in April.

Comments

hujiko 6 years ago

Just get it over with, it's already going to take long enough as it is. I can't wait for March to roll around and see the same people complaining about the emergency response problem whining about the project taking too much time and choking out their businesses.

kmat 6 years ago

hujiko (Anonymous) says…

Just get it over with, it's already going to take long enough as it is. I can't wait for March to roll around and see the same people complaining about the emergency response problem whining about the project taking too much time and choking out their businesses.


sounds like you're the one whining now.

You want to insult people that only wanted to make sure the city provided adequate emergency services during this project?

bearded_gnome 6 years ago

oh look, no comments from the losers who opposed putting a firewagon in north lawrence during peak traffic times! hmmm. on the previous thread I think there were at least five of those very thoughtful citizens. that included Marioni, of course.


hey city commish, LDCFM thanks for putting the firetruck over here! we do appreciate this. good job.

for the same reason, I'd like to see a pd roll car stationed in NL during those times.

and have you looked at the potential need to put a pd officer at 3rd and Elm or 3rd and locust to direct traffic? I think there's going to be many times that the planned detour will be totally insufficient, and you'll need to have officer(s) directing traffic further east.

anyway, thanks for responding to our concerns. we are delighted that this intersection will finally get the fix it has been needing for like ten years!

LA_Ex 6 years ago

Firewagon? PD roll car? Someone call Webster, cause somebody is creating their own dictionary.

bearded_gnome 6 years ago

okay La-ex, "firewagon, dates back to horse drawn fire equipment.

and "roll car" is common police term for a police cruiser that responds to dispatch calls, not a "prowl car" strictly speaking.

sorry for your limited english comprehension.

mdrndgtl 6 years ago

Looks like someone read a little Tom Clancy after failing both the police and fire department entrance exams. Too much beard for the force?

Carol Bowen 6 years ago

There should be a fire station in North Lawrence. The trucks could drive south or use the tollway.

bearded_gnome 6 years ago

Looks like someone read a little Tom Clancy after failing both the police and fire department entrance exams. Too much beard for the force!

LMAO! Did I reference a submarine, or secret antidrug warrriors in south america???

sounds like moderndigital needs a digital exam!

Kat Christian 6 years ago

My-My we all got up on the wrong side of bed this morning. Play nice kids. We all know this construction and detour is going to be a pain in the arse, but nothing we can do about it so just take it like a grown up and deal with it. I have to travel over the bridge everyday because I work in North Lawrence and bet over here to pickup my kid from daycare on time. Now that's a stressor. No sense in getting our knickers in a twist when we can't change it. Put in a audio book to help you pass the time and ignore those other idiot drivers that will most likely hold up traffice.

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