City officials meet with residents to talk traffic concerns stemming from interchange project

City traffic officials met with more than 70 Lawrence residents Wednesday night to exchange information as the city prepares to re-evaluate Bob Billings Parkway as construction nears on a new interchange along Kansas Highway 10.

The new interchange, which will connect to Bob Billings Parkway, is expected to increase traffic along the road. Area residents arranged the meeting, at Langston Hughes Elementary, to offer input in the city’s still-developing strategy to cope with the influx.

David Corliss, Lawrence’s city manager, and other officials spoke mostly about options, but did say traffic lights will be placed at the intersection of George Williams Way and Bob Billings Parkway before the interchange opens.

City engineer Dave Cronin said bike and walking paths will extend over the highway by a bridge. Paths will also continue to run north and south along the highway, but will need to be realigned after the interchange is placed.

When asked just how much he expected traffic to increase, Corliss compared it to how busy Clinton Parkway is, but also said it would probably not be as bustling as Sixth Street.

Construction, headed by the Kansas Department of Transportation, is expected to begin in late summer and last 18 months, Corliss said.