Shoofly. It may become the word of the summer in Lawrence in 2012.
Beginning today, traffic on a portion of 23rd Street will be shifted to two shoofly detours that are expected to be in place until at least late November. The detours are part of a project to replace the 23rd Street bridge near Haskell Indian Nations University.
“We generally have a target of opening it back up by Thanksgiving or a little sooner,” said Kim Qualls, a spokeswoman with the Kansas Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the project.
Until then, motorists will be routed around the bridge. For those unfamiliar with a shoofly detour, it is basically a short frontage road that takes traffic around a construction site. In this case, there will be two shoofly detours: one on each side of the 23rd Street bridge.
The two shoofly detours each will accommodate two lanes of traffic, which is an improvement over the current situation. For several weeks, the eastbound portion of 23rd Street has been reduced to one lane.
Qualls said the speed limit on the shoofly detours likely will be set at 30 mph.
Traffic is scheduled to be shifted over to the detours shortly after the morning rush hour, Qualls said.
As for work on the bridge, motorists should expect to see some major changes by mid-June. Qualls said by the middle of the month demolition work is expected to begin.
The $4.3 million project will replace the 1931 bridge with a significantly wider bridge that will include a sidewalk that is separated from the main traffic area. The bridge also will have a unique design that uses stamped concrete to give the bridge the appearance of stone work. The project also will include lowering the profile of the hill the bridge sits upon to give motorists better sight lines between Haskell and Learnard.