Road construction season has once again descended upon Lawrence.
This week, a Sixth Street repaving project from Iowa Street to Monterey Way got started. Construction crews will keep one lane of traffic open in each direction through the duration of the project, which is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 10, but city officials are projecting traffic will move slowly along portions of the route. In addition to the repaving, crews will install right-turn lanes at the Sixth and Kasold intersection.
Work on the Massachusetts Street bridge over the Kansas River continues as does the bridge replacement on 23rd Street between Barker Avenue and Haskell Avenue.
Later this summer, Wakarusa Drive will be completely shut down to traffic during a multimonth project to rebuild the intersection at Bob Billings Parkway. Crews should start work on Wakarusa Drive by late July.
So, it will be tough for motorists to get around town this summer. Road construction is a normal part of summer, but it is important to be safe, especially around yellow cones and when workers are present. In 2011, there were 1,609 accidents in work zones in Kansas, including 11 fatalities, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation. Of those deaths, 10 were motorists and one was a pedestrian.
According to KDOT, 75 percent of 2011’s work zone accidents were the result of inattentive driving. Other causes were failure to yield, following too closely, driving too fast for conditions and disregarding signs, signals or markings, officials say. Seventy-five percent of the crashes occurred during daylight hours.
Don’t be one of 2012’s accident statistics. Consider alternative routes and, when traveling through a work zone, expect delays, and be cautious, patient and courteous to fellow motorists.