Other projects receiving federal funds
- Here’s a list of other northeast Kansas transportation projects that will share in $11.3 million in federal stimulus financing, as announced Monday by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Local use of stimulus funds
The federal government is speeding up plans to rebuild the intersection of North Second and Locust streets in North Lawrence.
The project — to be financed with an expected $2 million from the federal stimulus program approved earlier this year by Congress and signed into law by President Obama — now is set for construction beginning early this summer, rather than the 2010 or 2011 that had been in the city’s plans.
Monday morning, city officials hadn’t yet received official word of the money’s arrival, but were making plans for spending it all the same.
“We’ll start as soon as possible — as soon as we possibly can move forward with this project,” said Shoeb Uddin, city engineer.
Uddin expects the project to have a contractor identified in May or June, with construction to start soon thereafter and be completed by spring of 2010. The project calls for a center turn lane to be installed, on both directions, on North Second Street, plus upgrades to the drainage system that will include new drainage inlets.
The work also will improve safety for drivers, and not only because of the addition of turn lanes. A persistent bump can be removed.
The bump — firmly in place since the filling of an enormous hole that opened up at the intersection in 1993, after an underground pipe had collapsed — has been blamed in accidents at the intersection.
“There have been fatal accidents in the past,” Uddin said.
The planned work long has been considered the city’s top priority for using stimulus money, and emerged from among a long list of projects vying for a share of the $32 million being made available for local projects statewide. Of that total, about $11 million was set aside for projects in an area that includes Lawrence, Topeka, Emporia and Manhattan.
The project at Second and Locust streets was the lone project in Douglas County to get financed, the Kansas Department of Transportation confirmed this morning. A final list of projects and financing totals is scheduled to be released later today.
Among those falling short was Douglas County’s effort to get money to rebuild a section of the Farmers Turnpike northeast of Lawrence, KDOT confirmed.
The project at Second and Locust is estimated to cost $3 million, and city officials formally applied to receive $2 million in stimulus financing. The remaining $1 million would be the responsibility of the city.
But the city already has $1 million available, through a separate federal transportation program. That money has been available to the city for months, but hasn’t been spent yet because the city didn’t have enough local money to cover the bulk of project costs.
Now that the stimulus program is expected to take care of that concern, the $1 million waiting to be spent either could go toward Second and Locust project or for another job somewhere down the road.
“That will be a City Commission decision,” Uddin said.