Work continues on a new U.S. Highway 59 in Douglas County, with the stretch of new four-lane freeway expected to open for traffic in late 2012.
On Tuesday, the southern portion of the expanded highway opened. That stretch of road runs from Interstate 35 near Ottawa in Franklin County to the Douglas County line.
In all, the new U.S. 59 will be expected to cost $240 million and provide safer and more efficient travel between Lawrence and Ottawa.
The old highway will be split into pieces, for use by local traffic as high-speed travelers take advantage of the new freeway — with improved visibility, wide shoulders, interchange ramps and other features — just to the east.