Archive for Wednesday, May 30, 2012

East 23rd Street detours to go into effect on Thursday

May 30, 2012


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.


blue73harley 6 years ago

I think drivers will probably be thinking of a few other names for it as well.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

I bet they would be saying something worse, if the bridge would fall down. Or maybe not, since they might be dead. It's summer. Roads are being worked on. People have jobs working on them. Slow down and smell the roses. Or we could just let the countries infrastructure fall apart. That's the conservative's way.

Jean Robart 6 years ago

you don't know what you're talking about, do you?

MarcoPogo 6 years ago

The Bandit jumped the old Mulberry Bridge without any problems. Maybe we just need ramps on each end.

Neomarxist123 6 years ago

So if we'd built the South Lawrence Trafficway, the massive traffic jams and accidents on that part of 23rd Street would never happen.


budwhysir 6 years ago

yeah I bet this will go over with no problems at all, I just wonder how much money was spent on the 4 shoofly lanes when traffic could have bee directed using other routes already paved.

DillonBarnes 6 years ago


Which roads, 19th? 31st? Those two roads already slow down significantly with "rush hour" traffic, and you propose adding 23rd street traffic to that?

Chuck Woodling 6 years ago

I believe the current bridge was built in the 1970s, not 1931.

Joe Hyde 6 years ago

Driving on E. 23rd St. will be really nice, and lots safer, once this bridge is finished. The new bridge will have a lower elevation, the roadway there will be smoother, maintenance of the roadway will be easier and less expensive.

Customers of the businesses that sit immediately east of the bridge will not have to worry so much about eastbound vehicles popping over the rise at high speed and t-boning them. Same benefit for County Shop employees who daily must use that dangerous entrance on the east end of the bridge.

Now if the city would just exercise some common sense and lower the speed limit on E. 23rd between Barker St. and the east city limit. On both sides of E. 23rd so many commercial business are packed cheek-to-jowl it's crazy and dangerous keeping it posted at 45mph.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years ago

And just why in the Mary Blue Hell are we replacing this bridge over nothing??? The bridge was put there to cross the Santa Fe tracks that used to run to Baladwin and Ottawa. The tracks are gone and will never be replaced. Why are we even building another bridge??

Oh yeah, the Lawrence leftie loonies have established a "walking path" or whateveryou call it. Build a pedestrian bridge over the street!!!! You want exercise, go up and down a short pedestrian overpass which would cost a lot less than replacing this bridge over nothing.

DillonBarnes 6 years ago

I was curious as well about why there needed to be a bridge there. What are the alternatives though? There is a hill there, digging it all out seems like it might not be very feasible. You could fill it in and build that pedestrian bridge, but there will still be a hill there. So you've got to build a bridge that climbs that 30 feet, and then climbs another 20 feet on top of that to clear the traffic. That's difficult enough for a person, let alone an older person, someone on a bike, or someone in a wheelchair.

The only alternative I can think of is a tunnel. Still would require a good deal of land movement. Not to mention a tunnel can become a dangerous place for pedestrians at night.

I don't know enough about it all to weigh the costs of each option, but there are some major problems with the alternatives I can think of.

blindrabbit 6 years ago

Summer Santa: Please bring me a completed South Lawrence Bypass! Oh well, Bah Humbug!

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