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Archive for Friday, July 29, 2011

Lawrence summer road construction will come to an end — sooner or later

Jack Page of Wildcat Concrete Services takes a break to wipe sweat from his face as he and others chip away bad concrete from the southbound lane of the Kansas River Bridge on Thursday, July 28, 2011. KDOT is funding this resurfacing of the bridge. With students returning to Lawrence in upcoming days, drivers can expect a slower commute because of the various road projects around town.

Jack Page of Wildcat Concrete Services takes a break to wipe sweat from his face as he and others chip away bad concrete from the southbound lane of the Kansas River Bridge on Thursday, July 28, 2011. KDOT is funding this resurfacing of the bridge. With students returning to Lawrence in upcoming days, drivers can expect a slower commute because of the various road projects around town.

July 29, 2011

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Lawrence road construction

An interactive Google Map of current road construction projects in Lawrence.

Your car’s idling, you’re sweating, and your destination is waiting.

But there’s no sense complaining about the road work that’s putting the brakes on your daily travel at seemingly every turn, according to a guy who feels your pain.

“It’s in every town, all summer long,” said Brad Minnick, a salesman from Lawrence who visits hundreds of communities, large and small, throughout northeast Kansas and runs into barricades, orange cones and flag-wielding construction workers at each stop. “It’s just part of life. If you’re not able to deal with it, my own personal opinion is you might need to get some help yourself.”

But before you book an appointment with an anger-management therapist, take a deep breath and check out this list of projects that are among the most disruptive in and around Lawrence.

The soothing message: There’s a light at the end of the tunnel — or, better yet, a fresh and smooth road surface at the end of each project.

A rundown:

• Sixth Street, from Missouri to Tennessee streets, down to one lane each way for repaving and addition of a right-turn lane at Maine Street, with scheduled completion Aug. 8. After that, the stretch from Missouri to Iowa streets will be down to one lane in each direction for repaving and addition of a right-turn lane at Michigan Street, expected to be finished in mid-September.

• Sixth Street, from Monterey Way to Folks Road, down to one lane in each direction for widening, repaving and addition of a center lane. Scheduled completion: Early September.

• Kasold Drive, from Clinton Parkway to 31st Street, down to one lane in each direction for reconstruction to add center turn lanes with medians, plus wider sidewalks. Scheduled completion: Late November.

• Kansas Turnpike, down to one lane in each direction for three miles east from the Lawrence service area northeast of town, for pavement replacement. Expected completion: By Thanksgiving. Lane-blocking work on the turnpike’s Kansas River bridge for traffic heading west is expected to be done within a couple weeks.

• Kansas River bridges, connecting Sixth Street with North Second Street in North Lawrence, down to one lane one each for a state project that includes patching and resurfacing. Scheduled completion: Late September.

• Bob Billings Parkway, from Crestline to Kasold drives, down to one lane in each direction for reconstruction, including reconstruction of intersection at Crestline. Scheduled completion: mid-August.

• 15th Street, from Burdick to Naismith drives, closed for work on underground utilities as construction continues on the new Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center at the Kansas University School of Engineering. Scheduled road completion: By Aug. 12.

• Haskell Avenue, from 15th to 23rd streets, one-lane sections blocked intermittently, with flaggers, for sealing of pavement cracks. Scheduled completion: mid-August.

• Kentucky Street, from 17th to 19th streets, down to one lane for replacement of waterlines. Scheduled completion: Undetermined, but entire project — split into successive one- and two-block sections heading north to 12th Street — is to be finished in January.

• Ninth Street, from Vermont to Tennessee streets, down to one lane in each direction for replacement of waterlines. Scheduled completion: Aug. 19.

Still more major work awaits: From early to late September, a city project calls for resurfacing all lanes and reconfiguring center-lane medians along Kasold Drive, from Trail to Peterson roads. The work will reduce traffic to one lane in each direction along Kasold.

But the work has to end sometime, right? And that sometime is moving ever closer, said Mark Thiel, who oversees many of the projects as the city’s assistant director of public works.

“We’ve got another six to eight weeks of good construction weather,” he said. “We’ll be working out till the middle of October before it starts really slowing down.”

Whew, you say — until Thiel brings us all back to a chilling reality.

“Then it’ll snow.”

Comments

whats_going_on 3 years ago

I hate to say I hate it, because the streets will be nicer when it's done. But still, I HATE IT! :-)

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MillyT 3 years ago

"• Kansas Turnpike, down to one lane in each direction for three miles east from the Lawrence service area northeast of town, for pavement replacement. Expected completion: By Thanksgiving. Lane-blocking work on the turnpike’s Kansas River bridge for traffic heading west is expected to be done within a couple weeks."

Maybe I'm missing it, but when will the construction on the I-70 bridges (and either side) be totally complete? That can't be done in a couple of weeks, just the current one-lanedness going west, correct?

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mfagan 3 years ago

Correct. There is a mile-long stretch of the westbound bridge that is blocked, for work. That portion of the work is expected to last for another couple weeks. More work remains on the larger, overall project. - Mark Fagan

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MillyT 3 years ago

Ok, thanks! But, do you know when the rest of the work will be completed? The daily commute is a bummer through that area!

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mfagan 3 years ago

Expect the $130 million bridge-replacement project -- and all the related ramp changes, lane adjustments, etc. -- to be finished in mid-September. That's the word from Rex Fleming, project engineer. "Everything will be open," he says. "New signs. New pavement. New pavement markings." The project started in 2007. But don't forget: There's still pavement-replacement work going on east of the Lawrence Service area. That work, he says, will be expected to be finished by Thanksgiving.

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jafs 3 years ago

Actually, the road repairs were neglected by the pro-growth crowd that spent several years building new roads/extending infrastructure instead of maintaining the roads.

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somedude20 3 years ago

Yes this has to be done but what was the reason for waiting until a few weeks before all the kids move places and come back for school to really start all of this? The city should have started this junk soon after KU let out so that it would not hinder everyone moving around (plus it is cooler earlier in the Summer) Could they not have worked on 9th St back in June so that both 9th and 6th are not jammed up at the same time now? common sense is an uncommon virtue

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jesse499 3 years ago

Last time I checked consrution companys were doing these jobs and they don't set around waiting on Lawrence they have other jobs to do to so its just like everywhere else you take your turn.I know some people think you should drop what your doing to do their job but it doen't work that way in real life.You get the job done when you can when its your turn.And sometimes you don't like it but!!!

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lawupsman 3 years ago

So when the flashing sign on 6th street says "find alternate route" maybe they should list suggestions? Just seems a lil ignorant to fix every major thoroughfare at the same time.

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Eride 3 years ago

When is the turnpike not under construction? Has there ever been a single day when it had zero construction?

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Patricia Kirk 3 years ago

Poor workers. It's been hot out there.

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jayhawxrok 3 years ago

Too bad the roads will be improved but not the drivers. I get tired of being behind idiots in DG county tags that don't seem to know which lane of 6th street allows you to turn on Mass and which go over the bridge.

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Joe Hyde 3 years ago

Would it be possible for the city and/or KU to reward each worker on these road crews with two free tickets to a home football game this fall, plus a home basketball game this winter?

The 31st St. repaving job finished recently is very nicely done. Old K-10 Highway between Lawrence and Eudora is again open, too; the repaving job there makes that road almost as smooth as glass. Excellent work.

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jesse499 3 years ago

Don't get used to it someone will come along with in two weeks and start digging holes in them.

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devobrun 3 years ago

At the rate crews are going on Kasold it will be late November......2052. Yesterday morning at about 10 there were 3 guys wandering around Kasold near Clinton Parkway. One was eating a doughnut and the other 2 were talking. On my return trip, the doughnut was gone, but they were still talking. No machinery, No nothin'.

Here's plan 1: Finish the part adjacent to Clinton immediately. Then move south. Get rid of the one lane signage on Clinton. 2) Next time don't schedule road work simultaneously on 6th, 15th, 23rd (Clinton), and 31st. East-west traffic is really slow because most of the latitudinal roads in Lawrence are under repair.

The Kasold work is giving a bad name to all road workers right now. Kick some tail out there. What's the delay? Somebody forget to order something?

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George_Braziller 3 years ago

Last week I was going to run an errand and decided to take some of the neighborhood streets to avoid the major road work. Didn't work.

After encountering the third roadblock and having to turn around I decided it was a sign that I wasn't meant to run that errand so I went back home.

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George_Braziller 3 years ago

Uhhhh, it's a bit difficult to transport a 50 pound bag of gravel on a bike and I'm sure not keen on the idea of carrying it two miles.

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parrothead8 3 years ago

Hence, the word "most," and not "all."

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George_Braziller 3 years ago

You're not carrying 75 pounds of bird seed, you're towing it. Big difference.

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pace 3 years ago

Will there be any public celebration for 10 continuous years of construction on the local stretch of the turnpike. Maybe a tower of orange cones lighted with flashing red lights?

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devobrun 3 years ago

thuja questions my engineering expertise without knowing anything about me. (S)He questions your errands and those of many other people unknown to him (her).

thuja can tow 75 pounds of bird seed with a bicycle. And therefore others should do the same.

Look thuja, I traveled down Kasold again this afternoon to get 5 bags of rock, wood filler putty, a knife, 5 lbs of 2 inch screws and a pair of 2X4 10s. I probably could have gotten all that on a trailer behind a bike, but it would have taken me 3 hours. I had a crew who had 1 hour of work to do. So, I drove my truck to Home Depot and the whole trip took 35 minutes. I wasn't completely exhausted from lugging 100 lbs of material around town on a trailer behind a bike. My crew never missed a beat.

And there was nobody on Kasold doing anything today. Nothing.

Another fine construction day wasted on Kasold.
I worked on a road crew one summer and we worked 10 hour days 7 days a week. Where are the construction workers on Kasold?

Why is no work being done on Kasold?

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