A busy county road will be closed to through traffic for the next nine months as crews work to replace a bridge over the Wakarusa River.
A section of Douglas County Road 1057, also known as East 1900 Road, will close Monday. A 3.5-mile stretch of the road will be closed to through traffic between Kansas Highway 10 and Douglas County Road 458.
It is scheduled to reopen in November after a new, sturdier bridge is built. The aging bridge, which sits a half-mile south of the K-10 interchange, is in poor condition and has a weight limit of 15 tons.
“It was a bridge that was constructed in 1957. The design standards at that time were not as high as they are now, and it was designed to carry a lighter load,” said Keith Browning, Douglas County public works director.
The bridge will increase in size from 394 feet long to 410 feet, and from 24 feet wide to 36 feet wide. The new bridge will have two 12-foot-wide driving lanes and two 6-foot-wide shoulders.
The county had first looked at rehabilitating the bridge or trying to reuse the piers and abutments. But those fixes still would have required the county to limit how much weight the bridge could handle. The new bridge would hold as much weight as state law allows.
“Having a load posted bridge at that location does have a significant affect on transportation,” Browning said.
Access to properties along County Road 1057 will be available while the road is closed. However, no traffic will go over the bridge.
The road closure will cut off a popular way to bypass Lawrence. Traffic counts from 2008 showed that 1,629 vehicles a day traveled the section of County Road 1057 between the bridge and K-10 and 1,318 vehicles accessed the road on the north side of County Road 458.
For the next nine months, through traffic will be detoured three miles east to County Road 1061, also known as Church Street in Eudora or East 2200 Road.
Federal transportation funds are covering 80 percent of the $2.75 million construction costs, and Douglas County will pick up the rest of the bill. Douglas County is funding all of the design, engineering and right-of-way acquisition costs, which is another $215,000.