Archive for Friday, October 28, 2011

23rd St. bridge to be replaced

October 28, 2011


Replacing a bridge along East 23rd Street won’t stop fans fast-breaking into or out of Lawrence for KU basketball games this season, with crews shooting for having the new bridge in place by the time tailgating begins in the fall.

The off-season for Kansas University athletics is scheduled to be construction season for a general contractor, forcing 36,000 fans of driving 23rd Street each day to grapple with temporary access roads, reduced speed limits and prohibited left turns.

Look for the bridge between Barker and Haskell avenues to be closed in early April, removed soon thereafter and then replaced by September.

And when it comes to fans heading into town for basketball and football games, the hope is for no harm, no foul.

“We will be able to generally — generally — facilitate four lanes of traffic through construction, just as it is now,” said Kris Norton, project manager for the Kansas Department of Transportation. “There’s going to be times, yes, when maybe there will be less for shorter durations: one lane in one direction, and two lanes in the other.

“But while the bridge is out and while they’re building the new bridge, for six months, there will be two lanes in each direction. You’ll have to go slower, but it’s a lot better than one lane in each direction or, god forbid, closed.”

The $4.5 million project is necessary to replace a bridge that had been installed in 1931, then widened to four lanes in 1970. Such replacement projects typically require closing either half or an entire road, but engineers ruled out those scenarios along 23rd because of the road’s daily traffic.

That’s why, beginning in February, a contractor will be expected to start work installing a temporary access road on each side of 23rd. Each of the roads will carry two lanes of traffic, be illuminated by temporary street lights and carry speed limits of 30 mph or 35 mph, down from 23rd’s posted 45 mph.

Vehicles turning onto or off of the access roads will be limited to right turns only, to help keep traffic as safe and smooth-flowing as possible.

“It’ll be slower, but the capacity will be there,” Norton said.

The new bridge will have five lanes instead of four, plus a six-foot-wide sidewalk along the south side, protected from traffic by a concrete barrier. Along the north side of 23rd Street, the project will run a 10-foot-wide concrete path up to an existing rails-to-trails recreational path that runs underneath the bridge.

The rec path will be closed at 23rd during construction, but by November users will have a new parking lot just north of the bridge — a remnant of the temporary access road — for their use.

The project includes plans for concrete to be stamped and stained, to give the structure the appearance of stone. Rails also will be upgraded, and the entire profile will be lowered by eight feet, giving drivers the ability to see from Haskell to Learnard or even Barker.

Right now, drivers idling in traffic find themselves staring at a giant concrete hump.

“It’s going to be a beautiful bridge,” Norton said. “It’ll be a really nice entryway.”


Curtis Lange 2 years, 5 months ago

You guys act like people get to do 45 mph through there on a regular day, lol. I can probably count on one hand how many times I've been able to do the speed limit coming in to town and going out of town on 23rd. Amazes me how slow people drive on 23rd between Haskell and Harper streets...


Floyd Craig 2 years, 5 months ago

its going to be done that fast well that means R D johnsons not doing it yippie they r so slow in doing anything cant get the mexicans to understand abla


Joe Hyde 2 years, 5 months ago

It'll be wonderful having a new, lower elevation bridge at that location. And given the density of business entrances along both sides of East 23rd Street what would be even more wonderful (and safer) is having the speed limit through there lowered to 40mph.


Coward_Blubliner 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm excited about this project and the proposed improvements.

I kinda see this project going smooooooth, always, like Keith Stone!

What is with the KNOLOGY internet flow? Is way worse than traffic flow.

Happy Hanukkah!


Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 5 months ago

Why is the bridge there at all?? There used to be railroad tracks from Lawrence to Baldwin and Ottawa, but they have all been removed years ago. Forget replacing the bridge, build a regular road and save the county piles of money.


Ewok79 2 years, 5 months ago

Ya know I would've thought that they could've planned a more efficent way to get in & outta town.......Guess not sigh No SLT & now 23rd is gonna be down to one lane.....Great Smh


TikiLee 2 years, 5 months ago

Oddball: Beautiful. Moriarty: suppose the bridge ain't there? Oddball: Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?


rockchalker52 2 years, 5 months ago

The new bridge sounds nice. 31st street along with south Haskell will become a lot busier. So will county road 1057 I bet. Set me free with the SLT!


CLARKKENT 2 years, 5 months ago



nekansan 2 years, 5 months ago

Glad no one crosses that bridge except for game days. I guess I'll just jump on the SLT to get through to K10 while the construction is ongoing.


Eride 2 years, 5 months ago

This is great news. I run underneath that bridge almost daily and there are giant chunks of concrete just falling off of it all of the time. It is in some pretty bad shape...


Gandalf 2 years, 5 months ago

Hey following the cities rational for sidewalk snow removal. Maybe they should emulate a Florida law. Except we can require women and the elderly to patricipate as well. It really would save the contracters a ton of money!

U.S. Supreme Court BUTLER v. PERRY, 240 U.S. 328 (1916) 240 U.S. 328

JAKE BUTLER, Plff. in Err., v. J. W. PERRY, as Sheriff of Columbia County, Florida. No. 182.

Submitted January 14, 1916. Decided February 21, 1916.

[240 U.S. 328, 329] Mr. Charles Cook Howell for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Thomas F. West, Attorney General of Florida, for defendant in error.

Mr. Justice McReynolds delivered the opinion of the court:

Chapter 6537, Laws of Florida (Acts of 1913, pp. 469, 474, 475), provides:

'See. 10. Every able-bodied male person over the age of twenty-one years, and under the age of forty-five years, residing in said county for thirty days or more continuously next prior to the date of making of the list by the board of county commissioners, or the date of the summons or notice to work, shall be subject, liable and required to work on the roads and bridges of the several counties for six days of not less than ten hours each in each year when summoned so to do, as herein provided; that such persons so subject to road duty may perform such services by an able- bodied substitute over the age of eighteen years, or in lieu thereof may pay to the road overseer on or before the day he is called upon to render such service the sum of $3, and such overseer shall turn into the county treasury of his county any and all moneys so paid to him, the same to be placed to the [240 U.S. 328, 330] credit of the road and bridge fund and subject to the order of the board of county commissioners for road and bridge purposes; . . . 'Sec. 12. Any person or persons not exempt as aforesaid who shall fail to work on public roads of the several counties when required to do so, or to provide a substitute as herein provided, and shall neglect or refuse to make payment for the same, as hereinbefore provided, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than $ 50 or imprisoned in the county jail for not longer than thirty days.'


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