Now that the constant stream of traffic is gone, pavement-repair crews are turning their attention to the damage left behind.
Workers this week are sizing up damages along the route of a former detour in North Lawrence, one that carried traffic for the past eight months when it had been expected to last for only eight weeks.
The plan: Intersections will be rebuilt, collapsed concrete will be replaced and fresh coats of pavement will cover roads throughout virtually all of North Lawrence, as the city aims to ease pain caused by a longer-than-expected reconstruction of North Second and Locust streets — now expected to be complete in August — and ongoing inconveniences triggered by work along the Kansas Turnpike.
“By the end of the summer, and the end of the I-70 project, hopefully North Lawrence will look like its old self again and traffic will be restored and it’ll just be kind of a memory,” said Mark Thiel, the city’s assistant director of public works.
This week, city crews are assessing the former detour route — along Elm, North Third, Locust and Lyon streets — to see where major repairs need to be made, likely to cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000. Already identified: North Third’s intersections at Perry, Maple, Lincoln and Lyon streets.
One bonus: With traffic in North Lawrence expected to decline now that the Kansas Turnpike has closed its Exit 204 interchange for seven months of reconstruction, crews hired by the city will have an easier time applying new layers of pavement to virtually all non-concrete streets in the neighborhood, Thiel said. Among them will be North Second and North Third, from Lincoln to just south of the interchange access road, as part of a $423,000 contract.
Ernie Scott, who lives along the former detour, welcomes the upcoming repairs.
“It’s about time,” he said.