Archive for Thursday, April 1, 2010

North Second Street now open to two-way traffic

Two-way traffic moves once more on North Second Street, after a nearly eight-month long detour.

Two-way traffic moves once more on North Second Street, after a nearly eight-month long detour.

April 1, 2010, 1:06 p.m. Updated April 1, 2010, 2:11 p.m.


No joke.

Traffic once again is moving both north and south through the intersection of North Second and Locust streets, site of a $2.5 million reconstruction project that has detoured northbound traffic onto adjacent streets for more than eight months.

The two-way traffic — one lane in each direction — is traveling on a rebuilt section of road, one that begins just past North Second’s intersection with Elm Street and continues north under the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Drivers began embracing the new traffic flow soon after lunch today. By 1:45 p.m., crews were working to get traffic signals up and running again.

Left turns remain prohibited at Locust, for traffic on North Second, and will remain so until more lanes are added later this year. But drivers heading into North Lawrence no longer will have to drive past Johnny’s Tavern to turn around and come back to Johnny’s.

Now customers simply can take the “Johnny’s detour”: Right on Elm Street, left on North Third Street, left on Locust and then straight across the new lanes and into the parking lot.

“That’ll be fine,” said Rick Renfro, owner of Johnny’s. “It’ll be fine and dandy.”

Construction work on the project started in late July, to add turn lanes, improve drainage and install a new waterline in the area. Work also would eliminate a large bump that had been in place since road repairs during the flood of 1993.

The project’s resulting detour — using Elm, North Third, Locust and Lyon streets — took effect July 30. Many of the streets along the route have been damaged extensively by the increased traffic, and city officials plan to start repairing potholes soon. More extensive repairs are expected later this spring or summer.

Crews still have plenty of work to do at the intersection itself. The entire project isn’t expected to be finished until August.

Renfro hasn’t exactly had it easy at his place at the northwest corner of the intersection: Early on, customers still found the tavern during football season, then racked up sales of plenty of “sympathy pizzas and burgers” in November and December.

But in January, his sales were down 30 percent compared with the same month a year earlier. In February, the tally had fallen 40 percent.

Now he’s bracing for another hit just up the road: The Kansas Turnpike’s closure of the East Lawrence interchange. That starts at 7 a.m. Monday, for what’s expected to be seven months of reconstruction.

Then again, Renfro said, things could be worse.

“It’s not near as bad as turning the (drinking) age limit from 18 to 21,” Renfro said. “That was the death blow. But I survived that, and I’ll survive this.”


laika 8 years, 1 month ago

¨Drivers began embracing the new traffic flow soon after lunch today. By 1:45 p.m., crews were working get traffic signals up and running again.¨

Perhaps you meant, ¨working to get traffic signals up and running again.¨

Jack Hope III 8 years, 1 month ago

Some other questions that the LJWorld may find answers for:

When will the I-70 bridges over North Seventh be completed so they can repave and/or lay more gravel and reopen that road.

Are they planning to repave all of North Third from Locust to North Street, or -- in an ideal world filled with free beer and unicorns -- maybe strip off the asphalt and go back to the brick pavers? When might that actually happen?

Are the water pumps and pipes ready for the spring rains, or do they still have more work to do? I assume it was their intention to install the new large pipe all the way from the railroad bridge to the river.


morganlefay 8 years, 1 month ago

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nlf78 8 years, 1 month ago

This is GREAT news! Okay, the only thing to make it better is to be completely done with the project. But no more waiting on trains. And dealing with all the people trying to bully their way through the whole 6th & Mass intersection. That was a nightmare driving home every night!

Morganna 8 years, 1 month ago

This is wonderful but what will the cheaters do now that they can't cheat their way to the front??? Will their lack of being able to cheat every morning turn to more drastic measures like stealing??? I certainly hope not!!!!!!!!!!!

morganlefay 8 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Morganna! I can't stand it when drivers try to butt their way to the front like that. Wait your turn like the rest of us!

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