Summer vacation means road construction on KU campus; here are the closures to look out for

With summer vacation officially here, construction has already begun at the University of Kansas to repair some of the campus’s most heavily trafficked roadways.

The three biggest projects will see sections of Jayhawk Boulevard, Memorial Drive and Irving Hill Road closed for nearly three months this summer, with the Memorial Drive reconstruction having entered its third and final phase earlier this month.

Taking place over three summers, the total cost of the project is estimated at $6 million, paid for by state repair and rehabilitation funds, KU parking funds and some funding from the city of Lawrence.

Renovations include slope stabilization, drainage improvements, waterline replacement, improved parking, new pavement and sidewalks and upgraded lighting. There’s also a plan to add pavilions for future monuments, such as war memorials, along the roadway.

The final phase of the project should total more than $2.2 million, according to Jim Modig, director of KU’s Office of Facilities Planning and Development.

The second biggest project, totaling more than $1.9 million, is Phase 4A of KU’s Jayhawk Boulevard reconstruction. The boulevard between 13th and 14th streets — the stretch from roughly just north of the Kansas Union to just south of Spooner Hall — will be closed to traffic over the next two summers. Projects slated for the next three months include a rebuilt, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant plaza in front of the Kansas Union, LED lighting, added storm sewers and underground utilities.

Modig said KU plans to replace the street and sidewalks during summer 2019, with Jayhawk Boulevard ultimately seeing a return of the tree canopy that graced the central roadway before Dutch elm disease wiped out most of KU’s elm trees in the 1960s and ’70s.

The third major project, totaling $795,000, will close down the section of Irving Hill Road between the new Burge Union, at 1565 Irving Hill Road, and Hashinger Hall, at 1632 Engel Road. As part of KU’s Central District construction, the project will include utilities improvements, a new pavement system designed to hold up against busy traffic, LED lighting and sidewalk modifications.

All streets are expected to reopen Aug. 3, in time for fall classes. Here’s a brief rundown of other construction closures going on this summer at KU:

• Fambrough Drive (a stretch of 11th Street) from Mississippi Street to Alabama Street — closed through summer 2018 for a city reconstruction project.

• Louisiana Street, from 12th Street to 13th Street — closed to through traffic over summer 2018 for utility and street improvement projects by the city. Intersections of 12th and Louisiana streets and 13th and Louisiana streets will not be closed simultaneously.

A map of all projects is available at


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