Archive for Wednesday, August 29, 2012

U.S. Highway 59 expected to open in October

August 29, 2012


Work crews lay a lime slurry mixture on U.S. Highway 59 near County Road 458 on Tuesday morning. The slurry helps harden the surface for the asphalt-laying stage.

Work crews lay a lime slurry mixture on U.S. Highway 59 near County Road 458 on Tuesday morning. The slurry helps harden the surface for the asphalt-laying stage.

— The nearly three-year long U.S. Highway 59 realignment project is nearing the end of the road.

“We’re hoping to open it the first week of October,” said Kim Qualls, a spokeswoman with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

There is still paving, striping and signage work going on, Qualls said. She said some folks may see a particular part of the project and believe that it’s finished now, but they aren’t seeing the whole thing.

The first phase of the project, which began in January 2009, entailed earthwork and construction of bridges for an 11-mile four-lane freeway between Lawrence and Ottawa. That cost $57 million.

The second phase is the surfacing and pavement work, totaling $24.7 million. Currently, that is happening on the north end of the project, which is close to the southern city limits of Lawrence.

A 7.6-mile stretch of the freeway in Franklin County — costing $63.5 million — was completed and ready for use in 2010.


riverdrifter 5 years, 7 months ago

There was another fatality north of the old Oak Lodge at 150 road. Hopefully this will be the last death on old 59. Drive safely, folks.

Scott Morgan 5 years, 7 months ago

The new highway will end in either the Walmart, or Holiday Inn Express parking lots.

Seriously, where does this new traffic go when hitting South Lawrence.

LogicMan 5 years, 7 months ago

The same places it always has is the easy answer.

average 5 years, 7 months ago

It may be the easy answer, but there aren't many more people needing to go from Ottawa to Lawrence on November 1 than today. Do you think opening it as a four-lane is going to generate traffic somehow? Seems like the old "rain follows the plow" theory we had pre-Dust Bowl.

average 5 years, 7 months ago

Don't get me wrong, 59 totally needs replaced. But, I don't see some major increase in traffic numbers that wissmo is implying (if I'm parsing him/her right). People don't just decide to visit Lawrence or Ottawa more often just because the road is nicer.

LawrenceTownie 5 years, 7 months ago

It ends when it joins I-35 east of Ottawa.

riverdrifter 5 years, 7 months ago

US 59 goes from Lacanster, Minnesota to Laredo, Texas.

LawrenceTownie 5 years, 7 months ago

This article says construction began in 2009, which is only the Douglas County end of this project. The Franklin County end of the project began around 2007. Believe me, all the people who live along this road project are more than ready for it to open. Living with this road construction project for almost 6 years, all the flagmen on the road, large dump trucks using our current highway and side roads has not been easy on anyone. The Dept. of Transportation decided long ago to build this four lane road, and nothing would change their minds. Their plan was to bypass all towns down to the Oklahoma border, which is now almost complete. Garnett and Thayer are the only two small towns left to do. What used to take us four hours to go to grandma's house now can be done in about two and a half hours with these towns off the beaten pathway. Of course all the revenew is also gone because we would stop for those great hamburgers in Humbolt at King Burger. Wonder if it is still there .... mmmm.

Tyson Travis 5 years, 7 months ago

I remember lots of trips as a kid from Lawrence to Coffeyville to visit the grandparents, used to take my dad about three hours, so you must have gone further south. It was fun to drive it with my Mom several years ago, but almost none of it is recognizable any more, all the towns have been bypassed.

LawrenceTownie 5 years, 7 months ago

Yes hwy 59 turns left toward Kincaid and Moran, and 169 continues south to OK from Osawatomie. The 4 way stop north of Thayer is always a surprise because you have just left a 4 lane highway at Chanute. What a difference. The roundabouts in the middle of the highways are troublesome also. The one on hwy 68 north of Paola has been hit several times. Not always good to put lots of concrete, bushes and trees in the middle of the road.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh, Thayer ... how I loathe your speed trap.

trinity 5 years, 7 months ago

Hey now, that gas station at Moran (59/54) has some pretty good eats-as far as gas station cuisine goes! :) Love food off a roller!

Sherry Warren 5 years, 7 months ago

A deer was hit on Sunday on the stretch of one-lane near N 1100 road. Monday it was pulled off of 59 and thrown into the west ditch. It smells to high heaven and I now know what the actors on CSI mean when they talk about "decomp". Keep your windows up!

Terry Sexton 5 years, 7 months ago

I saw that. I live near there. As I was headed north into town, there was a big ol' dump truck ahead of me parked on the shoulder with two guys peering out from in front of it. As soon as I passed them they latched onto that dead ol' deer & (is it dragged or drug?) it across the two-lane to the west side.

The fox that I caught & released from my groundhog trap was found dead by my neighbor. The pointy eared varmint was also a victim of highway traffic. We are loving the new highway improvements, but they have unsettled a lot of critters.

Aileen Dingus 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm the only one in my family (husband, kids) who grew up in the country. One of the first things I taught them when we moved out of town was "Hold your breath when you go by roadkill in the summertime."

Hooligan_016 5 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, I saw a person completely blow through the intersection a couple of weeks back. Didn't even hesitate to slow down.

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 7 months ago

MacHeath, that is the town of Elsmore, before ""bait shop""" was a little mom / pop cafe, home cooked meals at cheap prices, stopped there several time over the years

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