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Archive for Monday, June 14, 2010

City draws plan, budget for marking roads

Thousands extra needed to do job; county ready to roll on its roads

A bicyclist rides through a crosswalk across 14th Street at Massachusetts Street, just north of Central Junior High School. The foreground crosswalk markings are barely visible compared with the markings across Massachusetts, visible at upper left and right. City officials are looking to accelerate a program that brightens lane markings and crosswalks across town.

A bicyclist rides through a crosswalk across 14th Street at Massachusetts Street, just north of Central Junior High School. The foreground crosswalk markings are barely visible compared with the markings across Massachusetts, visible at upper left and right. City officials are looking to accelerate a program that brightens lane markings and crosswalks across town.

June 14, 2010

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Lawrence city officials are looking to accelerate a program that brightens lane markings on major streets in town, even as a national shortage of marking materials threatens to curtail such work later this year.

County roads to get paint makeover

Douglas County is preparing to freshen the paint on the roads. The project will cost $130,000 this year. Enlarge video

Chuck Soules, the city’s director of public works, is asking for additional money for 2011: up to $100,000 to put down markings along major intersections of Kasold and Wakarusa drives, plus another $68,000 to repaint lanes, crosswalks and stop bars all over the city.

“We definitely need to do more striping,” Soules said. “I wish we could do more.”

Soules concedes that his proposal comes with several potential roadblocks:

• Money. The city currently budgets $15,000 to paint lane markings in Lawrence, and Soules said he understands that boosting that total by $68,000, which would be a 450 percent increase, could be a tough sell in tight economic times. “We have a lot of good ideas, a lot of programs,” he said. “It comes down to setting priorities.”

Heavy-duty delineation

The intersection of 31st and Louisiana streets usually gets its stop bars and lane markings spruced up with a fresh coat of paint each year.

Not this time.

The intersection — which officially is the crossing of North 1300 and East 1400 roads in the unincorporated area of the county — will get some heavy-duty treatment this time around, said Keith Browning, county engineer and director of public works.

As crews repave a half-mile stretch of 31st Street in early August, crews will apply plastic lane markings that will be expected to shine bright and last longer, Browning said.

• Durability. Road paint typically lasts for only a year before needing another coat — even less if applied in high-traffic areas, such as for crosswalks or stop bars. That’s why the city now typically applies “hot plastic” markings when a road is resurfaced; the plastic markings are considered more durable.

• Availability. A nationwide shortage of materials used to add reflectivity in road paint is complicating matters for many buyers. The supply squeeze could postpone projects into 2011, adding to the potential for higher prices and increased demand for contractor services.

Keith Browning, Douglas County engineer and director of public works, said he considers himself fortunate that he secured a painting contract in 2007 that remains renewable for 2010 and 2011.

The county’s contractor, Midwest Striping in Grand Island, Neb., placed its orders for road paint early in the season, Browning said, and therefore does not anticipate any supply problems later this year.

That means drivers can expect to see trucks moving slowly and methodically along the county’s major paved roads — all 163 miles of them — in the unincorporated areas outside of Lawrence, likely in September, Browning said.

“We’ll be doing all of our roads,” Browning said. “We typically do them every year.”

Comments

cowboy 3 years, 10 months ago

The problem is the city staff are unable to accurately project costs for most anything. 15,000 isn't going to paint very much and you knew that when you put the budget together morons. Now in mid year you come back moaning about the lack of funds.

what will it take to get some basic expertise hired into the city operations staff. hire a bunch of first year industrial engineers and put em to work.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 10 months ago

this is another editorial in the works for the J/w to no avail of course.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 10 months ago

Nothing but a resume building scheme for folks at City Hall.

How can a street that is barely driveable be in need of markings. I thought the article was about MARKING streets to be REPAIRED.

Maybe there needs to be an organized group go out with spray paint and start "marking:" the streets in disrepair.

Call it : SOS, it worked for the whining parents, their SOS group!

Yes, save our streets mr. soules. I just noticed that there is extensive street,drainage work going on at the Carnegie Building intersection all the while 13th street is SAD, The pavement will soon be lifting up on 11th from West Campus to MIssissippi, since the city has what ONE storm sewer opening downhill.

Can't say that anyone at City Hall is really that experienced about drainage and/or street improvement. There is a difference between paving and improvement!

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Boston_Corbett 3 years, 10 months ago

Fix....potholes.....and.....crumbling.....streets.

Wait....a.....year....when.....you.....know...national...shortages...are...quadrupling....paint...prices

It...is....simple...

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Centurion 3 years, 10 months ago

I wish they would remark the double turn lanes. I'm getting tired of trying to dodge the person next to me.

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blackfox 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree, fix the pot hole infested roads first! If you cant drive with out the markings, you need to learn how to drive again.

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Michael Rowland 3 years, 10 months ago

I would like to be able to tell road markings from the tar used to cover all the cracks in the road when I'm driving at night.

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Bob Kraxner 3 years, 10 months ago

Since when is there a national shortage of marking paint? or 3m adhesive products? Those are the only things used to put markings on pavement.

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Steve Jacob 3 years, 10 months ago

At intersections like 23ed and Harper (Kwik Shop) and 19th and Haskell (Gas Station) , people just guess where left hand turn lanes are, if they even remember that they exist.

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ksjayhawk74 3 years, 10 months ago

There's a lot of alleys with huge, gaping, alignment destroying potholes that need to be fixed first.

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keepingfingerscrossed 3 years, 10 months ago

Use the money that the city wants to spent on the depot for the roads

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gccs14r 3 years, 10 months ago

If we know in advance that paint is a waste of time and money, why do we keep using it?

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cheeseburger 3 years, 10 months ago

What are you NOT telling us Chuck - how much of this is for bike lanes?

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