Really, stay off of Sixth Street — or at least the portion near downtown Lawrence.
City Hall leaders on Tuesday were making another plea to motorists to avoid the area of Sixth Street between Missouri and Massachusetts streets for several days.
Crews began repaving the portion of Sixth Street near the entrance to downtown Tuesday, but city leaders were warning that the work will be even more disruptive Wednesday.
The city is asking motorists to not use the downtown Kansas River bridges Wednesday. Instead, they’re suggesting motorists coming from the north use the Kansas Turnpike bridge, which will allow people to enter the city through the West Lawrence interchange.
“I hate to send people onto the turnpike to avoid our construction area,” said Mark Thiel, the city’s assistant public works director. “But it will ease in the frustration.”
The downtown bridges will remain open, but all southbound traffic exiting the bridges will be funneled to the west. In other words, traffic won’t be able to access the downtown area from the bridges. Left turns onto Tennessee Street also will be prohibited. Massachusetts Street also will be closed at Seventh Street in order to prohibit people who are leaving downtown to access the area near the bridges.
The bridge disruptions are expected to last into the early evening. Thiel said emergency vehicles will have access to the bridges at all times to respond to incidents in North Lawrence.
“We’ll let them drive over anything we have on the ground to respond to an emergency,” Thiel said.
The overall paving project for Sixth Street is expected to last until Aug. 12. After crews finish paving Sixth Street from Massachusetts to Kentucky, work will shift to repaving Sixth Street from Kentucky to Missouri. The project ultimately will repave Sixth Street all the way to Iowa Street.
“Once the project gets past Tennessee Street, it will be a lot less restrictive,” Thiel said. “There is just such a convergence in the area we're working in currently.”