Archive for Friday, June 12, 2009

Portion of Ninth Street now closed

Ninth Street is closed to all traffic from Emery Road to Highland Drive.

June 12, 2009

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In this photo looking east down Ninth Street from the intersection of Sunset Drive, city crews ramp up their work Thursday to revamp Ninth from Iowa to Tennessee streets. Currently Ninth Street is closed from Sunset Drive to Emery Road, forcing drivers to use side streets to get around the construction.

In this photo looking east down Ninth Street from the intersection of Sunset Drive, city crews ramp up their work Thursday to revamp Ninth from Iowa to Tennessee streets. Currently Ninth Street is closed from Sunset Drive to Emery Road, forcing drivers to use side streets to get around the construction.

Road construction just doubled Brad Finkeldei’s daily commute, and now he’s actively searching for the bright side amid the orange cones, piles of gravel and a few weeks’ worth of scheduled detours near his home.

No need to despair — not when safer, smoother travel lay ahead for himself and another 17,000 people who travel Ninth Street each day between Iowa and Tennessee streets.

“These are going to be great improvements,” said Finkeldei, of the work to replace a water line, repave the street and rebuild the intersection of Ninth at Avalon Road.

The $678,211 road project, which started Monday, shifted into high gear Thursday morning with the closure of Ninth between Highland Drive and Emery Road. The closure is expected to remain in place through the first week in July, giving crews time to complete work at Ninth and Avalon: adding a center turn lane and realigning the intersection to improve sight distances.

Elsewhere between Iowa and Tennessee, the road is restricted to local traffic from now through Aug. 7, the scheduled completion date for the project. Such local traffic — people who live or do business in the area — may travel past the “road closed” signs, but drivers looking for a way to cut through are instead instructed to use either Sixth or 19th streets.

“We’ve tried to be as accommodating as possible,” said Mark Thiel, assistant director of public works.

Finkeldei, an attorney, appreciates the city’s commitment to improving conditions on the road he takes every day — the bulk of his 1.2-mile commute from Sunset Drive to his office at the corner of Ninth and Massachusetts streets.

The trip normally takes less than five minutes, he said, but Thursday’s drive lasted for at least 10. That’s what happens when you venture into an adjoining neighborhood and cruise past a city water tower before steering back onto Ninth.

He just may try Iowa and Sixth streets next.

“I’m not sure of the fastest way yet,” Finkeldei said, chuckling at the unusual brevity of his familiar commute. “That’s part of the fun of this: What’s the fastest way to get through there?”

Comments

gsxr600 5 years, 10 months ago

When is the rest of the street scheduled to be closed LJW? Unfortunately I have to travel across 9th to get to work every morning.

mfagan 5 years, 10 months ago

The entire stretch from Iowa to Tennessee is "closed" to through traffic, now through Aug. 7. But you can still use much of that stretch to get to and from businesses, homes, etc. in the area. The section of Ninth that involves Avalon Road actually is closed. You can't get through there at all, because of the reconstruction and related work at the intersection. As for the rest of the project area, contractors are supposed to maintain open lanes for traffic even as they replace curbs and repave the street, etc. There may be delays for traffic, but you're supposed to be able to get through -- as long as you have reason to be on that section of Ninth (again, to get to homes, businesses, etc. in the area).

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 10 months ago

Seriously, Brad Finkeldei's "commute" just doubled?

This is Lawrence, KS. You could ride a bike and be there in 15 minutes.

Anyone who uses the word "commute" to describe his or her drive downtown needs to seriously consider his or her life choices. If that truly rises to the level of "commute," perhaps you should just work from home.

"Commute." Sheesh, more whining from Lawrence libs.

Brent Cagle 5 years, 10 months ago

"Commute" is gramatically correct, but I know what you mean. As someone who has been driving back and forth from Lawrence to Topeka every day for 7 years, and worked in downtown KC for 3.5 years before that, I have a hard time feeling sympathy for anyone whose commute goes from 5 minutes to 10.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 10 months ago

Read it again folks. The attorney guy is not complaining, in fact he is appreciative.

It is just the way the writer chose to write the lead to give a "reader hook" for the story.

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