Archive for Monday, May 11, 2009

North Lawrence intersection on track for overhaul

Rebuilding a busy intersection in North Lawrence is set to begin this summer, and city officials are planning — hoping, anyway — to get the work done sometime next spring.

May 11, 2009, 4:22 p.m. Updated May 12, 2009, 12:38 a.m.


Intersection in North Lawrence to get facelift

The intersection of North Second and Locust streets in North Lawrence will undergo some changes this summer. Work will begin in July that will add left-turn lanes and drainage improvements. Enlarge video

Detour ahead

Once construction begins in July, drivers heading from downtown into North Lawrence will be detoured around the intersection of North Second and Locust streets.

Traffic will be diverted east onto Elm Street, then north on North Third Street — across the railroad tracks — to Lyon Street, then west back to North Second Street.

Traffic headed south, toward Lawrence, will be squeezed into one lane on North Second Street, passing Johnny’s Tavern.

Rebuilding a busy intersection in North Lawrence is set to begin this summer, and city officials are planning — hoping, anyway — to get the work done sometime next spring.

Left-turn lanes will be added for traffic at North Second and Locust streets, an intersection whose corners are occupied by Johnny’s Tavern, small shops, the Lawrence Visitors Center and a municipal parking lot. Plans call for drainage improvements, too.

Come June, the city should get an idea of who might be willing to take on a job that could command as much as $3.2 million or even more, at a time when contractors are hungry for work during an economic downturn.

And officials will be hoping that the work, or at least most of it, gets done by sometime next spring. That’s when the Kansas Turnpike Authority plans to close its east Lawrence interchange — the one across from the I-70 Business Center, a mile to the north — for eight months, for reconstruction of its own.

Having one major access point to North Lawrence closed and another severely limited isn’t anyone’s idea of fun.

“We’re all hopeful that all our projects go quickly and efficiently and that all our worst fears don’t happen,” said Chuck Soules, the city’s director of public works.

City officials have been planning the project since 2005. The Kansas Department of Transportation agreed earlier this year to pump $2 million of federal stimulus funds into the project, and officials expect construction to begin in July.


observer25 8 years, 9 months ago

Wouldn't it make more sense to work on that intersection at the same time that the East Lawrence Turnpike interchange is closed? Traffic will be drastically reduced by being re-routed to the West Lawrence interchange. Why do we want this work to be done before the interchange is closed?

Staci Dark Simpson 8 years, 9 months ago

Oh yay, now both the ways I can take to work will either be closed or seriously delayed. Glad to get roads fixed but it would be nice if at least one way into town from Tonganoxie was open.

Kat Christian 8 years, 9 months ago

And then the idiots that are so fearful to drive if there is so much as a cone in the road slowing or halting traffic until someone blows their horn to wake them up. Oh for joy can't wait to for this one. It will take me 15 minutes to get across the bridge instead of 2.

kmat 8 years, 9 months ago

“We’re all hopeful that all our projects go quickly and efficiently and that all our worst fears don’t happen,” said Chuck Soules, the city’s director of public works.

But if the project doesn't go quickly, they don't care. They'd only really be inconveniencing the residents of N Lawrence and we all know they don't care at all about us. In fact, I got the previous city manager to admit to me that the city doesn't want to do projects in N Lawrence and get used to our side of town not being taken care of. N Lawrence is really being fixed up by the residents and many others who discovered that there is a lot of potential there. But the city still doesn't care. They won't fix our roads (side streets) and now hope they can finish this job before the I-70 interchange is closed.

And it kills me that no one has still been hired to do this project. They've been planning this for years and just kept putting it off. Now we have the money and crews that need the work, and no decisions have been made. Our cities finest at work, once again.

Curtis Lange 8 years, 9 months ago

How about they pave N Second St while they're at it. The sealant they were putting on the road today has the road looking like an absolute pile of garbage...not to mention that the road lines are all but invisible throughout many portions now.

flyin_squirrel 8 years, 9 months ago

Whoever fixed up the old buildings at 7th and Locust should be commended by the city. You are right that the residents are the only ones who care, but it seems as if some of the business property owners are also showing initiative.

And if they ever end up building a riverfront area, that will really make people notice North Lawrence.

Jack Hope III 8 years, 9 months ago

The city/county should consider laying down a new layer of asphalt on North 7th (aka E 1500 Rd, aka Douglas County Hwy 9), and maybe some speed bumps.

The traffic on North 7th and Elm Street is going to skyrocket once all this construction starts. Right now, the North 7th pavement below under I-70 is basically mangled from the all the construction on the Turnpike.

think_about_it 8 years, 9 months ago

I don't think our tax money should be used to improve that cesspool north of the river. There is nothing in north lawrence worth anything except for the strip joints and the city dump.

kmat 8 years, 9 months ago

Well, we know what kind of a loser think_about_it is. Those poor girls have to make money off of losers like you.

Guess what, we pay taxes too. And, we have a very low crime rate and nice neighborhoods. Please don't come over to our side of town please. We have enough trash travelling along 2nd St on it's way to the dump (which isn't in Lawrence, it's in rural Jefferson) and don't need you to add more.

YES Sandrat! I've been wondering who to contact about 7th st. KTA is who destroyed it and they should have had to repave it. I bet it sits like that forever.

Jack Hope III 8 years, 9 months ago

none2? Tell me the address of this "city dump". I'd love to check it out.

I don't know what none2 and think_about_it (probably the same troll, fwiw) are all bent out of shape about... 2nd and Locust is not being rebuilt for North Lawrence residents, but for traffic coming in from I-70. North Second is a major traffic artery, regardless of the amount of taxes the neighborhood pulls in.

However, I imagine that their are more owner-occupants in North Lawrence than in any other neighborhood in town. I suspect that they don't have huge mortgages, and the value of their homes is not about to fall into the toilet.

As far as none2 and think_about_it are concerned, you two anonymous cowards are perfectly entitled to use the West Lawrence I-70 entrance and K-10. I'll take North Lawrence.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 9 months ago

thinkaboutit, cesspool...your current address?

sandrat, I think you've confused None2 with a troll.

besides, nobody lives in north lawrence, riiiiiiiight you better watch out, we grow the massive mushrooms here, we're gonna feed thinkaboutit to the next giant mushroom! he can take his strippers, late night parkinglot shootings, etc., and go stay in his own cesspool

kmat, I'm actually agreeing with you again: you better watch it there.

Jack Hope III 8 years, 9 months ago

My apologies none2. I did misread your post. I thought your post said there WAS a dump in NL. I should not have let the "think_about_it" post cloud my judgment. My bad.

And as a point of order, I am dyslexic, and maybe a little stupid for letting a troll post from "think_about_it" give me a case of the "red mist". I retract lumping you in with "think".

While I agree with you that the "bump" was/is dangerous, and the residents did complain about it a lot, it was never a priority of the city until the horrible accident that hurt the kid. You point is correct.

I live in North Lawrence and love the neighborhood. I guess I let civic pride get the better of me.

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