Douglas County commissioners will be asked Wednesday to impose traffic restrictions on certain township roads near Baldwin City that motorists are using as detours to get around closed bridges on U.S. Highway 56.
The Kansas Department of Transportation is replacing three bridges on a 2.5-mile stretch of the highway between East 1400 Road to Sixth Street in Baldwin City. KDOT is also improving the highway intersection at Lawrence Street and Bullpup Drive.
Work on those projects began April 18. The new intersection is expected to be finished in early August while the bridge replacements are scheduled for completion in mid-October, just before the annual Maple Leaf Festival.
KDOT has established official detour routes via U.S. 59, Interstate 35 and Kansas Highway 33. But county officials say motorists are finding their own "unofficial" detours by way of township roads that are not designed to carry large volumes of traffic.
The projects are also reported to be causing traffic snarls for school buses in the Baldwin City school district, especially around the intermediate and junior high school buildings, resulting in students getting home from school later than usual.
Commissioners will be asked to approve resolutions posting 30 mph speed limits on portions of East 1400, 1500 and 1575 and 1600 roads, as well as North 200 and 400 roads.
In addition, commissioners will consider a resolution prohibiting commercial vehicles on those roads for the duration of the highway closure, and to approve dust palliative treatments on those roads.
County engineer Keith Browning stated in a memo to commissioners that he expects KDOT to reimburse the county for the estimated $34,500 cost of the dust treatment.
In other business, commissioners will discuss recommendations regarding the county's self-funded employee health insurance program.
The commission meets at 4 p.m. at the County Courthouse.