Archive for Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Recent rains delay some Lawrence road construction projects

A pedestrian crosses Iowa Street toward Kansas University's main campus as traffic moves slowly through the construction areas both north and south of the intersection at 15th and Iowa streets on Monday. While this project remains on schedule, a couple of other ones in Lawrence are lingering behind, mainly due to the recent rains.

A pedestrian crosses Iowa Street toward Kansas University's main campus as traffic moves slowly through the construction areas both north and south of the intersection at 15th and Iowa streets on Monday. While this project remains on schedule, a couple of other ones in Lawrence are lingering behind, mainly due to the recent rains.

August 20, 2013


Recent rains have helped to delay a couple of Lawrence road construction projects, potentially putting a speed bump into the city's plans to have much of the work done in time for Kansas University students' return to school on Monday.

Crews have been working feverishly on the road projects in recent days to try to get them done at or near their deadlines.

On Bob Billings Parkway, from Kasold to Crestline drives near the KU West Campus and leading toward the main campus, crews are expected to be done repaving the road by Friday, a few days before KU starts its fall semester. The project was pushed back about a week after the downpours earlier this month delayed paving.

"If we have a nice dry week, which it appears we will, they should be able to complete the street part of it this week and reopen it hopefully by Saturday," City Engineer David Cronin said.

Nearby, the reconstructed intersection at 15th Street/Bob Billings Parkway is now open, but construction on South Iowa Street continues north to Harvard Road. The entire South Iowa Street project is expected to be done in time for the original completion date of Nov. 16. In the meantime, Iowa Street will remain narrowed to one lane in each direction, with no left turns to and from side streets.

"We're still ahead of schedule to finish that project," Cronin said. "But it will certainly cause delays. We just hope people use alternate routes and slow down as they're trying to get to their destination."

In addition, a Kansas Department of Transportation mill-and-overlay project on Iowa Street from 29th to the south city limits is on schedule and should be finished by the end of the month.

Over on Wakarusa Drive, north and south of Bob Billings, the rainfall earlier this month delayed the project, as have issues with underground utilities that need to be relocated. That project is now expected to be completed by mid- to late-September, a couple weeks later than originally planned.

The delays won't result in any penalties assessed to the contractors, however, because the causes weren't their fault.

"If there are changes that are beyond (the contractors') control, if we get weather delays and they can't work, we generally give them that time and add it on to the end," Cronin explained.

In the new Warehouse Arts District in East Lawrence, a newly bricked Pennsylvania Street is expected to be open by the end of the month, with detours to continue until then. Nearby Ninth Street has already been reconstructed. The whole project was originally scheduled to be done by July 20 but the bricklaying — done by hand, one at a time — took longer than anticipated.

At Ninth and Tennessee streets, most of the work is being done off the roadway, though new traffic signals are being installed this week. Delays are expected until the signals are operational, likely on Wednesday or Thursday, while the entire project is supposed to be wrapped up by the end of the month.


hipper_than_hip 4 years, 5 months ago

Another City road project that doesn't get finished before KU starts.

Stephanie Hull 4 years, 5 months ago

Some of these projects weren't started until just recently. Why didn't they plan to start them early enough to allow a few days for a rain delay? Anyone want to start a pool on how many car accidents there are the next few days as new students move into town and try to navigate through the orange cones?

George_Braziller 4 years, 4 months ago

Just from a practical standpoint why don't they start these projects earlier anyway? The majority of the students are out of town in June and July yet they always wait until August to start working on them. The roadwork just compounds the traffic problems created by the returning students. They've been doing it that way for the 30 years I've lived in Lawrence and never have understood the logic.

Bob Bowles 4 years, 4 months ago

The City could pay for all of these projects if they would put police with radar on Inverness from Wakarusa to Bob Billings. Troubles me because Quail Run is back in session and these speeders are all talking on their cellphone or texting as they zip down Inverness.

dubiousfrown 4 years, 4 months ago

I don't like cars speeding down my street, either, which is why I don't live on a thru-street.

kuhusker 4 years, 4 months ago

I've seen plenty of cops on that stretch lately, and as a result I always keep it right at the limit of 30 (it is really easy to get going 40+ on that stretch, especially downhill).

DRsmith 4 years, 4 months ago

Cracks me up that weather always takes the blame for delays. When they are planning a project do they expect absolutely no rain for months at a time? Weather has been great overall this summer, no excuses.

workinghard 4 years, 4 months ago

Unbelievable what they did out by Target, blocking all the entrances off of Iowa except one and having everything that was open down to one lane. It shouldn't take 20 to 30 minutes to get through an intersection. Someone should have been reprimanded over that one.

George_Braziller 4 years, 4 months ago

I was headed south on Iowa and needed to get to the east side but couldn't because everything was marked no left turn. Ended up having to drive south down 59 until I could find a place to cross to drive back north so I could turn right. A trip that normally would take 20 minutes ended up taking nearly 1 1/2 hours.

cowboy 4 years, 4 months ago

first day of construction on 31st they had no signs up warning of the trench you were about to hit.

Jeremiah Jefferson 4 years, 4 months ago

Yesterday I saw 8 city/construction workers in front of where I work. 2 of them were working, 6 of them were doing nothing. True Story.

MarcoPogo 4 years, 4 months ago

If you were at work, shouldn't you have been working instead of watching the workers not work? :)

George_Braziller 4 years, 4 months ago

I worked on a city crew one summer when I was in college and sometimes that's unavoidable. Especially if multiple trades are involved on a project. You can't do your part until another crew finishes theirs, and they can't do theirs until another crew does theirs.

But even though not everyone is working at the same time you still have to all be there so you can do your part when the time arrives.

mdlund0 4 years, 4 months ago

Can someone remind me why all construction in this town has to cater to the whims of the KU calendar? They waited until a week after graduation was over before starting any construction, wasting at least a month of good weather. Now it looks as if some badly needed projects won't even get started this year: 6th and Iowa reconstruction & alignment, mill & overlay on 15th street west of Wakarusa. That later one is particularly annoying because it was delayed last year after business owners on the corner of 15th and Wakarusa complained that construction would interrupt their business too much. Now they're going to get to deal with construction two summers in a row.

kuhusker 4 years, 4 months ago

I thought the 6th and Iowa project was delayed because more engineering planning work was needed.

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