Archive for Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Work on Rail Trail to begin next month

Bids to build a new bike trail were approved by Lawrence city commissioners Tuesday. The plans are expected to take effect in early October with a target completion time in the early months of next year.

September 9, 2009


After multiple years of planning, construction is set to begin early next month on a new east Lawrence trail that will run from 11th Street all the way to 23rd Street.

City commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting unanimously accepted bids for the long-talked-about Burroughs Creek Rail Trail after the project came in about $300,000 less than engineers had estimated.

“They were very good bids,” said Chuck Soules, the city’s director of public works. “There are not a whole lot of projects out there right now, and it came at a time of year when contractors are wondering what they’re going to be doing for the next few months.”

Lawrence-based R.D. Johnson Excavating was awarded the contract for $591,632. About 60 percent of the project will be paid for through a state transportation grant. The city will pay the remaining 40 percent using sales tax money approved by voters in April.

The project will include a 10-foot-wide trail from 11th to 23rd streets, following an old railroad route that is just west of Haskell Avenue. The project also will include pedestrian-activated crossing lights at 11th and 19th streets, a raised crosswalk at 15th Street, a speed hump at 13th Street, and a pedestrian bridge that will be installed over Burroughs Creek to connect the trail with Parnell Park.

“We really think this whole project is going to tie the neighborhoods together,” said Mark Hecker, the superintendent of parks and maintenance for the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. “It is the type of project that should allow people to interact with each other, make connections.”

With the lower than expected construction costs, the project may end up growing in size. The trail qualified for up to $500,000 in state transportation funding or 60 percent of the project costs — whichever was less.

City Manager David Corliss said the city will look for ways to do other parts of the project that have been planned but were thought to be too expensive to do now. Those include the idea of paving the existing trail south of 23rd Street, which currently is a soft-surface trail. Other options including building new feeder trails that will shoot off from the new Burroughs Creek Trail and into nearby parks such as Hobbs Park at 11th and Delaware and the city park at 19th and Haskell.

Construction on the main trail is expected to begin by the first week of October. Work likely will stretch into January, Soules said.


mumbojumbo 8 years, 6 months ago

That is all well and good but is there any plans in the future to repair the streets in our city. We sure aren't putting our best foot forward for visitors to our city.

Brian Laird 8 years, 6 months ago

be3 (Anonymous) says…

"Maybe this will give the idiots who ride their bikes down the middle of the street someplace else to ride. Streets are not meant for bicycles, get a clue."

Well Kansas state statutes beg to differ and I tend to trust them more than arrogantly ignorant people like you. I challenge you to show me where in Kansas law it says that bikes to not belong on the streets. If not then you have proved that this is just your personal opinion, which in my opinion, isn't worth monkey spit.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 6 months ago

Rails to Trails is a great program.... for those who want to spend private, not taxpayer, dollars on it.

Please, government, you're already involved in far too many expensive projects that you have no right meddling yourself in. It's time for government to get out of the trail business.

malehrman 8 years, 6 months ago

I think it is a great idea. I hope to see that one day Lawrence will have a continuous biking/running/walking trail running almost from I-70 on the far end of the levee trail all the way through town on the Burroughs trail and connected out to the trail that starts at the movie theater and runs out to Clinton Lake.

coolhandluke 8 years, 6 months ago

For be3's reference from The Kansas Department of Transportation ( ):

"Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this act, except as otherwise provided in K.S.A. 8-1586 to 8-1592, inclusive, and except as to those provisions of this act which by their nature can have no application."

quimby 8 years, 6 months ago

Contrary to many negative remarks posted above, this is an excellent use of our tax dollars. Successful cities are those with lots of open space and opportunities for outdoor recreation. This is exactly where we need to be headed as a city. I look forward to enjoying this trail, along with many others. Thank you, Lawrence.

quimby 8 years, 6 months ago

As a follow-up to my earlier post, we choose how our tax dollars are spent with our votes, and this trail is being partially funded with sales tax money we approved earlier this year. The remainder is from a state grant.

tym4fun 8 years, 6 months ago

More frivolous spending. We cut departments and lay off workers, complain about not having money and spend on this???!!!

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

I have no problem with adults riding their bikes in the street, you know all grown up and should know road rules, but kids no they should be allowed on the side walk, ok maybe not the rude teen group,but no nine year old, no matter how often you talk to them, is going to react in a calm manner to a 4 by 4 roaring past them. The trail sounds like a cool idea if it is kept safe, do not think I want my kid or me walking around and all the hood rats trying to prove themselves at my expense.

pfunk81 8 years, 6 months ago

Sounds cool, I'll be looking forward to riding this trail. Until then, I'll be riding in front of be3. Say hello!

Practicality 8 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like a new Homeless Highway to me.

zzgoeb 8 years, 6 months ago


No, actually bikes pre-dates cars on public roads by, oh, about 20 years!!! Wake up man...the road is to share! Get out and walk, or try a bike sometime, and park the monster ute, ok?

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 6 months ago

"Successful cities are those with..." -quimby

"...this is an excellent use of our tax dollars..." -quimby

"This is exactly where we need to be headed..." -quimby

Quimby is a perfect example of one constituent with a pet project or special interest that he feels everybody should financially support, whether voluntarily or not. He has the all-too-common mindset of the dedicated minority which demands that ALL citizens pay to fund projects used by only a few. Their claim is that their special interest is somehow "unique" and "essential" - so essential that their wishes now become the fiduciary responsibility of everyone else.

This corrupt mentality is exactly what our society should oppose. We cannot allow the narrow interests of a vocal few to drive our government's spending policies.

Practicality 8 years, 6 months ago


no, because there are/was homeless camps along the proposed site. Nice try though.

Frightwig 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't like this. This is a waste of tax money. Bikers are spandex-wearing weirdos. This money should be used to fix the roads. I need good roads because I drive everywhere. In fact, I don't even own a bike. I watch TV six hours a day. I can't do a single pushup. I am a lazy fatso. I should be destroyed.

KansasPerson 8 years, 6 months ago

I could've sworn that when this was still in the early planning stages, it had a different name.... and then I was surprised when it started showing up as the Burroughs Creek Trail. I can't remember the former proposed name, though. I think it might have had the word "river" in it.

Scott Drummond 8 years, 6 months ago

".....corrupt mentality is exactly what our society should oppose. We cannot allow the narrow interests of a vocal few to drive our government's spending policies."

My thoughts exactly. The republican approach to governing has been thoroughly discredited and the voters in their infinite wisdom have voted them and their protection of narrow interests out of office. A public walking trail on public land is an outstanding benefit being added to our community.

quimby 8 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for figuring out everything about me by reading two of my posts, "SettingTheRecordStraight". I don't even know where to start with you, so I won't, other than to say you totally have it wrong. I am an educated resident of our city who has the community's best interest in mind. You, on the other hand, are obviously someone who thinks it is your moral obligation to spread your venomous hatred around.

Thank you, Scott3460, for your follow-up. And to further back up what you said, note the margain by which our current president was elected - BIG TIME MAJORITY.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

Voters said yes to this in November ..... 70% approved.

How many other much larger multi-million dollar expenditures were even put to the voter?

Local voters need the power to vote on new projects that which impact our tax bills and our cost of living which is most every agenda item with the city commission. Our governing body,the city and planning commissions, are loaded with conflicts of interest.

I say voting taxpayers can make the most fiscal responsible decisions. Certainly cannot be anymore irresponsible. Give taxpayers power over their tax dollars and the ability to create economic growth NOT economic displacement. This vote can happen every second Tuesday in April.

Tune in on Tuesdays at 6:45 PM to see what elected officials are doing. The same goes for the school board. All governing bodies NEED very active watchdogs.

Over built retail is anti economic growth.

This bike and hike trail will be fun......... 70% approved.

Janet Lowther 8 years, 6 months ago

There is a park at 19th & Haskell?

I thought that was just a vacant lot. . .

guppypunkhead 8 years, 5 months ago

Checked out the progress today while walking the dog, looks awesome! Can't wait for it to be done, I will use it all the time, it is just half a block from me. Also walking today saw sidewalks being put in on several blocks in my E. Lawrence hood. Love it. Thanks city of Lawrence!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.