Letters to the Editor

Costly bridge

November 1, 2011


To the editor:

I noted in the front page Journal-World Oct. 28 story by reporter Mark Fagan that the 23rd Street bridge between Haskell and Barker is to be replaced. The project is estimated to take six months and will provide a bridge for five lanes of 23rd Street traffic.  The scope of the project surprised me in this era of governmental austerity. My concern is that all viable options be explored before contracting the project.

The original purpose of the existing bridge was to provide a viaduct or overpass over the Santa Fe trackage between Lawrence and Ottawa. The hump or elevated roadway over the railway was common practice at the time.

The trackage is now gone and the new bridge will mainly allow passage of the walking trail to keep the south half-mile or so of it from being isolated. This could be nicely accommodated by an 8-foot square reinforced concrete culvert at much less construction cost. If the usage of the existing street which passes under 23rd is sufficient to justify continuing it, that could be done with two 12-foot square culverts. No matter what plan is used, there is some surface drainage (storm runoff), which must be managed. Use of the culverts would eliminate most of the hump in 23rd Street, shorten construction traffic inconveniences and probably lower costs. 


cheeseburger 2 years, 5 months ago

It's about time to hear from tuschie on the sacredness of the area surrounding the bridge and how whitey is continuing to infringe upon the natives.


Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 5 months ago

This is a question for attorneys to settle who have a great deal more knowledge about public and private property rights than any of us have.


MattressMan 2 years, 5 months ago

I would imagine (hope) KDOT wants to leave vehicle access under the bridge to allow Haskell and for the short term Dg Cty PW traffic easier access to westbound 23rd.


FlintlockRifle 2 years, 5 months ago

Howard, you get my vote, I will put you on the next ballet, you came up with a really good idea, they have a tunnel on west 6th street, works great


lunacydetector 2 years, 5 months ago

mr. duncan has very reasonable questions a hard hitting journalist needs to follow-up on with kdot, sante fe, the city and perhaps the county. i'm interested if any hard hitting questions get raised. scott rothschild could add to his hit piece series on brownback - that should be incentive enough.


formerfarmer 2 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, bhall87, Sante Fe abandoned the right of way years ago to Baldwin. The abandoned the right of way under the bridge when the track was torn out and the walkway was built. They no longer need the bridge, they need to lower the roadway on the highway and build a pedestrian tunnel.


Wadde 2 years, 5 months ago

Until now the bridge and the lanes are complex which hinders stimulation of outside interest Of Lawrence it's the most ignorant design thanks to the city it will ignite some interest.


Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 5 months ago

"probably lower costs."?

"The original purpose of the existing bridge was to provide a viaduct or overpass over the Santa Fe trackage between Lawrence and Ottawa."

The right of way at that location is private property, and it is owned by Santa Fe.

So it all depends upon what price Santa Fe will be willing to sell their right of way for.

Perhaps the city should offer a reasonable, that is, a rather high price for it. There's not much doubt that an offer of many tens of thousands of dollars would be laughed at.

Several hundreds of thousands of dollars would be more reasonable. In fact, you could make a good case a few million dollars would be reasonable.

In that case, purchasing the right of way would cost more than the proposed bridge.


Floyd Craig 2 years, 5 months ago

i have to agree with that it would be better so then there wouldnt be a bridge to build and probly faster to finish


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