Archive for Sunday, July 17, 2011

31st St. closing Monday for repairs, repaving

July 17, 2011


A busy section of 31st Street will be closed for more than two weeks beginning Monday, redirecting thousands of Lawrence commuters.

The closure will allow crews to repair and repave 31st, from Louisiana Street to Haskell Avenue. Because the portion of 31st is at the edge of town, it also is known as North 1300 Road, from East 1400 to East 1500 roads.

Douglas County is financing the $385,500 job, hiring contractors to patch problem areas and then coat the mile-long stretch with a blanket of asphalt two inches thick.

The road is set to reopen Aug. 3, with 2,600 tons of fresh asphalt, new lane markings and sections of paved roadside shoulders.

“The road’s just in very poor shape and it needs some significant work to make it last,” said Terese Gorman, engineering division manager for the county’s Department of Public Works.

The 10,000 drivers who use the road each day will need to find an alternate route — likely involving 23rd Street and, depending on a driver’s direction, either Louisiana or Haskell, Gorman said.

The goal is to keep the road in workable condition for at least the next five years, and likely longer. That’s because the entire section is set to be torn out in conjunction with extension of the South Lawrence Trafficway, a $192 million project to build a four-lane highway around the southeastern edge of Lawrence.

The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to bid the project in September 2013 to start work on an extension connecting the current end of the trafficway — at U.S. Highway 59 at the southern edge of Lawrence — with Kansas Highway 10 near Noria Road, southeast of town.

Whether trafficway construction actually starts then — the project remains opposed in federal court by individuals and groups with environmental, cultural and other concerns — county officials say they can’t afford to wait for that section of 31st to be replaced. The “new” 31st is slated to be built just south of the current one, closer to the “32nd Street alignment” of the trafficway through the Baker Wetlands.

“We anticipate that 31st Street will be in full use a minimum — an absolute minimum — five years from now, and probably longer than that, before the new 31st Street would be in place and usable for the public,” Gorman said. “And that’s not a 5-minute job. It’ll go on for a long time. It also involves moving Haskell (Avenue) and Louisiana (Street). It’s a major undertaking.”

So the county is moving ahead with its maintenance project.

Eudora-based Little Joe’s Asphalt Inc. secured the contract, and its crews will be instructed to work in the early mornings when making repairs in 31st’s intersections with Louisiana and Haskell. The goal is to keep additional traffic disruptions off 31st to a minimum, Gorman said.

“Most of the project, you will be able to get through the intersection at Louisiana and through the intersection at Haskell,” she said.


Carol Bowen 6 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence should annex this section of 31st street. We need all the east- west streets we can get. 31st street is a very functional street. It's east-west and one of our longest streets. 31st does not have enough right of way to be widened, but it serves us well where it is.

IdahoWinds 6 years, 10 months ago

Why would the city need to annex this for it to be functional? It lies within the HINU property which is Federal Property - The city can not annex federal land. And what part about "be replaced within 5 years by a new alignment next to the SLT" didn't you understand?

Carol Bowen 6 years, 10 months ago

The plan is to tear out 31st Street and replace it with a 32nd Street. We need both.

IdahoWinds 6 years, 10 months ago

What dream world are you in. The "agreement" with HINU at one time was KDOT will remove 31st and replace it on Baker's property and in exchange HINU wouldn't fight the SLT on 32nd st. You can see how well they stuck with the deal. Either way you get 31st OR 32nd - not both!

IdahoWinds 6 years, 10 months ago

What dream world are you in. The "agreement" with HINU at one time was KDOT will remove 31st and replace it on Baker's property and in exchange HINU wouldn't fight the SLT on 32nd st. You can see how well they stuck with the deal. Either way you get 31st OR 32nd - not both!

Lawrence_Pilot 6 years, 10 months ago

Ah, yes, the Real Bypass. I've been using it and Haskell and Louisiana to avoid 23rd St. for 30+ years. Works great, which is exactly why I have never supported the SLT.

akt2 6 years, 10 months ago

Ditto, 20 years. I have been avoiding it lately though because it is getting so rough. This will be good.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

Another way around is 1100 rd which dumps drivers off at 1900rd/1057 and K-10 interchange. Quicker than 31st street.

Curtis Lange 6 years, 10 months ago

Confuses drivers? Maybe the ones that shouldn't have a license in the first place. The only road rage that occurs is caused by the imbeciles, who again, shouldn't have a driver's license and can't navigate a simple circle. Its not rocket science; its chapter 1, page 1 of the driver's handbook type stuff.

While I'm a fan of roundabouts, 31st and Louisiana is not a suitable location for one. That intersections handles too much traffic for the majority of dumb American (specifically Lawrence) drivers to handle it would need to be at least a two lane roundabout.

3up3down 6 years, 10 months ago

Traffic at 31st and La. is totally backed up at 5p.m. Screw the round-a-bout, put in a light.

May Soo 6 years, 10 months ago

Do they put lights on county roads? I agree it is almost impossible to use that section of the street at that time, worst yet everyone thinks they have a right of way.

luv2raft 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree! That intersection is dangerous no matter what time of day. Anybody know if they're actually putting in a light?

Curtis Lange 6 years, 10 months ago

31st and Louisiana definitely needs to be a proper intersection; stop lights, turn arrows, the whole shebang. Would love to see a new traffic count/study for the intersection.

Jonathan Fox 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm so ready for them to move the man made flood plain (wet land) and finish the bypass. I'm so tired of trucks having to drive down 23rd street.

I cannot wait to cross the bridge that's never been crosed.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 10 months ago

Are the trucks driving through Lawrence or headed towards businesses on or near 23rd Street?

sourpuss 6 years, 10 months ago

For a road to be well paved, asphalt should be 4" thick. This coating will break away quite quickly. They should do it right or not waste the money.

IdahoWinds 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't believe it is plugged again for several reasons. It is lower now than after the county opened it up and two, it appears the beavers moved south of 31st about 50 yards and built their dam there instead of in the culvert under the road. At one time the water only left the top barbed wire exposed, now there are at least three lines exposed.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.