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Archive for Friday, June 4, 2010

Turnpike rebuild east of Lawrence will squeeze traffic to one lane in each direction

This aerial view looks at ongoing reconstruction of the Kansas Turnpike’s East Lawrence interchange, which is Exit 204 in North Lawrence. This view looks southwest across the site, with North Third Street cutting across the top of the photo, with the I-70 Business Center at the top of the frame. The interchange is scheduled to reopen for traffic on Wednesday, a month ahead of schedule.

This aerial view looks at ongoing reconstruction of the Kansas Turnpike’s East Lawrence interchange, which is Exit 204 in North Lawrence. This view looks southwest across the site, with North Third Street cutting across the top of the photo, with the I-70 Business Center at the top of the frame. The interchange is scheduled to reopen for traffic on Wednesday, a month ahead of schedule.

June 4, 2010

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Traffic on the Kansas Turnpike just east of Lawrence will squeeze into one lane in each direction beginning next week, as crews start rebuilding the last original section of the pay-as-you-go highway.

The $23.2 million reconstruction project starts Monday, with crews planning to steer traffic into the outside lanes going in each direction. The squeeze will be in effect from just east of the now-closed East Lawrence interchange, which is Exit 204, to just west of the Lawrence service area, which will remain open.

By the end of this month, crews will direct all turnpike traffic onto the existing eastbound lanes, so that the westbound lanes can be torn out and rebuilt. Gone will be the 10 inches of concrete topped by six inches of asphalt, to be replaced by a 10-inch layer of recycled, crushed rock topped off with an 18-inch-thick layer of asphalt.

The speed limit will be reduced from 70 mph to 60 mph through the work zone.

“Please be patient and understanding and courteous to other drivers,” said Rex Fleming, the turnpike’s project engineer. “We’ll work our way through it.”

Crews from Hamm Cos. expect to be finished building the westbound lanes sometime in August. Crews then would switch traffic onto the new lanes, allowing for replacement of the eastbound lanes by Nov. 12.

Two-lane traffic in each direction will be expected to continue through the winter months, with crews set to return to work in the spring to rebuild lanes east of the service area to about a mile west of the new Tonganoxie/Eudora interchange, which is Exit 212.

“The service area will remain open throughout,” Fleming said.

The $23.2 million project will replace the last original section of the turnpike, built in the 1950s.

Comments

Pete_Schweti 3 years, 10 months ago

K-10 to 435 and vice-versa. It's free and at least not too much of a retard-fest in the mornings (though I can't say the same in the evenings, which is primarily why I use the Turnpike).

There's no way I'm paying to drive on a road that funnels down to 1-lane of congested hell.

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Lee Eldridge 3 years, 10 months ago

The KTA does a great job of maintaining their road. Anybody who has ever done any significant driving across the Midwest appreciates the well maintained Kansas Turnpike. It is, in my opinion, the best maintained highway that I've ever driven on. But it won't stay that way without projects such as this. Short term inconvenience is a small price to pay for long term solutions.

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 10 months ago

The Kansas Turnpike is consistently in better condition than the non-toll interstates in Kansas. Does that make it worth paying extra to drive on? ... or should the other ones just be better maintained?

Anyway ... when the KTA shuts down part of its road, I'm convinced it will be worth it. Can't always say that for KDOT projects.

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kansasredlegs 3 years, 10 months ago

WTF? That section of road in its present condition with 4 lanes open sucks... Won't be long until there is an accident which close down the entire turnpike. What contigency does KTA have in place for a major accident and subsequent traffic jam? The traffic will be backed up to the Lecompton and new Eudora Exits... Users of the Turnpike should either get a discount or be allowed to use turnpike for free until there are 4 usable lanes open for use

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wmathews 3 years, 10 months ago

[sigh] As if I didn't have a tough enough time getting to Lawrence every morning. Add this to the East Lawrence exit, the 435NB-70WB exit and starting soon the 70EB-435SB exit. KDOT and the KTA better get me a sweet, sweet Christmas present this year.

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parrothead8 3 years, 10 months ago

What does the City of Lawrence have to do with it? The Kansas Turnpike is a state project.

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ryknow1976 3 years, 10 months ago

Everything I hear about the city of Lawrence has been doing lately makes Topeka look so enticing. Yes, Topeka.

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