Archive for Monday, March 23, 2009

Stimulus package to speed upgrades at Second and Locust streets in Lawrence

Cars pass through the intersection of North Second and Locust streets Monday. The federal government is speeding up plans to rebuild the intersection with an expected $2 million from the federal stimulus program.

Cars pass through the intersection of North Second and Locust streets Monday. The federal government is speeding up plans to rebuild the intersection with an expected $2 million from the federal stimulus program.

March 23, 2009, 12:30 p.m. Updated March 24, 2009, 10:05 a.m.


Stimulus money to finance project

North Lawrence will be getting $4 million in federal stimulus money to reconstruct the intersection of Second and Locust streets. Enlarge video

Other projects receiving federal 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.


ConstantlyAmazed 9 years, 3 months ago

"That will be a City Commission decision...."

Who do we want making those decisions?

My vote's for the civil engineer and budgeting balancing business owner. Lance Johnson.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 3 months ago

Two things:

1 - Am I the only one who has a big ad in the middle of this page?

2 - Why is it that the stimulus package looks like a big handout without any "economic stimulus"? Spending equals recovery?

Orwell 9 years, 3 months ago

"Big handout?" Infrastructure repair won't perform itself. That "big handout" pays workers. If spending allows workers to buy more, demand will increase, thereby promoting recovery. Instances of default are reduced, as are – incidentally – fatalities. How are those bad results?

Shane Garrett 9 years, 3 months ago

Where is logrithmic at complaining about tax dollars being spent for road repair. Oh, this is an Obama project. Never mind.

Shane Garrett 9 years, 3 months ago

Oh No! Round-abouts invade Topeka! From the cj on line. This plan shows the locations of two roundabouts to be built on N.W. 46th east of N.W. US-75 as part of a $3.3 million project that will receive $2.9 million in federal stimulus package money.
The Obama team is behind the circle of conspiracy!

Danimal 9 years, 3 months ago

logrithmic, you can't decry one road construction project, and support another one when they are serving the same purpose. US-59 is going to 4 lanes because there is a tremendous amount of traffic on that highway and it's an old, dangerous road. This intersection is being rebuilt because it handles a tremendous amount of traffic and it's an old dangerous street. If you don't like WalMart, don't shop there, ever. But keep this in mind, WalMart is one of the few businesses that is actually growing and bolstering the American economy right now.

Mike Blur 9 years, 2 months ago

Actually Wally, as someone who drives through NW 46th and Topeka on a fairly regular basis, I can see the viability of at least two roundabouts to manage traffic flow through the Hunter Ridge development. Roundabouts are a well reasoned, pre-emptive move to deal with high traffic in a neighborhood with franchise vendors and high-density housing.

The existing roundabout at US-75 and NW 46th proper is an unabashed success. Prior to construction of the roundabout, that intersection was designated one of the most dangerous in the US. There were few families in the northern Shawnee County/Jackson County who were not affected by a fatality at that intersection. Personally, I have lost a family member and two acquaintances due to wrecks at that intersection pre-roundabout.

Since counstruction of the roundabout--ZERO fatalities.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 2 months ago

Good news for the North side..... bout time.

Shardwurm 9 years, 2 months ago

I understand Obama personally selected this project.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 2 months ago

Way to go consumer... let it all out.... now, isn't that better.

wysiwyg69 9 years, 2 months ago

The round-a-bout at 46th and 75 hwy may be called a round-about but it is nothing like the ones in lawrence. You can still keep your speed at 70mph [or 80mph as most do], and never have to slow down if traveling south to north or north to south. Also there will soon be another round-a-bout 200 feet from 75 to control north oakley traffic unable to merge onto 46th.

geekin_topekan 9 years, 2 months ago

LJWorld is remaining eerily quiet about how the SLT funding is coming along. Very peculiar....

HermioneElliott 9 years, 2 months ago

xbusguy Please do not belittle someone because they are giving their opinion. I can imagine you patting him on the head and giving his a piece of candy. Not very nice.

kthxbi 9 years, 2 months ago

I concur! NoLaw needs a grocery store!

kthxbi 9 years, 2 months ago

I find it hard to believe NoLaw has enough children to support an elementary school, yet not enough adults to support a grocery.

Our grocery will have those conveyer belt sidewalks like they have in airports. Only with wide cushioned seats.

kmat 9 years, 2 months ago

beo and kthxbi

There are plenty of us in N. Lawrence to warrant a grocery store and schools. Why don't you try driving over here some time to see that there is actually life over here.

Not enough kids for an elementary school??? There are so many kids just on my block and tons of them over here. The latest data I could find showed there were 216 students at Woodlawn Elementary in 06-07. If there is just one class per grade, that's over 30 students per class. Yeah, we don't need no stinkin' schools over here. That's more than NY Elem. and about the same as Pinckney.

kthxbi 9 years, 2 months ago

kmat- thank god North Lawrence has a school. I hope they are teaching reading comprehension.

kmat 9 years, 2 months ago

Boy kthxbi, you are bitchy. I glanced at your post and thought you were saying it didn't warrant a school either. Good grief.

kthxbi 9 years, 2 months ago

no need to call names, we are neighbors after all.

ddayot 9 years, 2 months ago

There must not be any population north of the city limits. Where do they get groceries?

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