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Archive for Monday, October 7, 2013

Most of Lawrence road construction done for the year

A young boy walks with his skateboard along Iowa Street near Oxford Road where construction continues on Iowa. Sidewalks in the area have been removed and several streets east of Iowa Street, including Oxford, are closed for the project. This view looks north from Oxford toward the intersection and stop lights at Ninth and Iowa.

A young boy walks with his skateboard along Iowa Street near Oxford Road where construction continues on Iowa. Sidewalks in the area have been removed and several streets east of Iowa Street, including Oxford, are closed for the project. This view looks north from Oxford toward the intersection and stop lights at Ninth and Iowa.

October 7, 2013

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The road construction season in Lawrence is nearing its conclusion, with Iowa Street remaining the only project significantly tying up local traffic.

Most of the city's road work is completed for the year, except for Iowa Street, which remains on target for its completion date next month, and Wakarusa Drive, which is behind schedule because of issues with moving utility lines.

"We're getting close here to wrapping up everything for 2013 and getting plans ready for 2014," City Engineer Dave Cronin said.

Road workers continue to reconstruct Iowa Street near the Kansas University campus and currently are working on the northbound lanes of Iowa north of 15th Street. Traffic through the area is expected to be restricted through the project's completion date of Nov. 16.

On Wakarusa Drive, through traffic has been reopened north of Bob Billings Parkway, but crews still are completing some sidewalk work, which could lead to intermittent lane closure. The project was supposed to be done by the end of August, but delays have been caused largely by conflicts with relocating utilities. There is no word yet on whether contractors will be penalized for the delay. Crews also are wrapping up sidewalk work near Bob Billings Parkway and Kasold Drive, which affects traffic for pedestrians and bicyclists, but not motorists.

In addition, crews are busy doing infrastructure work on the Farmland redevelopment project and Rock Chalk Park and are about to install signals at Sixth Street and George Williams Way, none of which impacts road travel.

But it won't be long before the next road construction season gets underway.

At the end of this year, the city will start extending 31st Street from Haskell Avenue to O'Connell Road to allow the expansion of the South Lawrence Expressway (K-10), with that project expected to continue through 2015.

Then, starting in the spring, crews will begin reconstructing the busiest intersection in Lawrence — 23rd and Iowa — with that job expected to last six to eight months. In the end, the work will create dual left-turn lanes in all directions, reconfigure the right-turn lanes to make it easier to yield to pedestrians, and improve the landscape with trees, bushes and irrigation.

Other projects set for 2014 include reconstruction of Wakarusa Drive to the north of where this year's project ended, redoing a section of Bob Billings Parkway west of Wakarusa, brick reconstruction in the 2100 block of Vermont Street, micro-surfacing of Sixth Street from Folks Road to K-10, redesigning box culverts and providing a westbound left-turn lane at Sixth and Iowa, geometrically improving Ninth Street by potentially adding a dedicated left-tune lane between Emery Road and Michigan Streets and replacing signals at Ninth and Kentucky streets.

"We're getting plans ready to bid the projects in the spring," Cronin said.

Comments

mdlund0 1 year, 2 months ago

How about if we try to act like a real city and get the 2014 work started when the weather permits instead of when KU's semester ends? Students drive on the roads too... let them suffer the construction as well.

Seth Amott 1 year, 2 months ago

I think any city would schedule their construction around a time period when a quarter of the city's population, transit, and commuters disappear. You really want to wade through that construction when 20,000 students, hungover from last night, are rushing to get to class? That is awfully shortsighted of you, I for one am glad that they schedule it that way.

mdlund0 1 year, 2 months ago

Also, instead of reconstructing Wakarusa 100 ft at a time, how about just doing the whole lot between 6th and 23rd st. in one go. At this rate, the road is going to be half closed every summer for the next decade.

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