Nearly 15 years after planning started for a new four-lane U.S. Highway 59 south of Lawrence, the final leg of the construction is nearly complete. Officials say the entire route from Lawrence to Ottawa will be open by the first week in October.
It’s time to bid a not-so-fond farewell to what must have been one of the most deadly stretches of highway in the state. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier this week, the mayor of Baldwin City appropriately paid respects to all of the people who were injured or killed on the hilly, winding two-lane road. Too many accidents occurred on this road because of limited visibility and risky passing conditions.
The new highway should eliminate most of those hazards as well as provide an important transportation link between Interstate 70 in Lawrence and Interstate 35 in Ottawa — soon to be expanded by the completion of the east leg of the South Lawrence Trafficway.
It’s been a long time coming, but the opening of new, safer U.S. 59 is just around the corner.