Lawrence motorists soon to be greeted by new traffic signals on busy highway

A crew with J. Warren Company Inc., of Topeka, paint new lane markings Monday at the intersection of US Highway 59 and County Route 458 in anticipation of the Thursday activation of a new traffic signal at the site.

The string of traffic signals on south Iowa Street now extends into rural Douglas County with the placement of signals at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and County Route 458.

The signals are only partially functioning currently — blinking red for traffic on County Route 458 and yellow for traffic on U.S. Highway 59. But the signals are expected to be fully functioning by Thursday, said Kansas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nicole Randall. A crew with J. Warren Inc., of Topeka, was adding new lane markings Monday in preparation of activation of the signals.

The $208,000 traffic signal project was KDOT’s response to expected increased traffic at the U.S. 59/Route 458 intersection with changes made to the Kansas Highway 10/ East 1200 Road intersection. KDOT limited the K-10 intersection to right-on/right-off turns when the South Lawrence Trafficway opened last year.

That anticipated bump in traffic to and from Route 458 probably won’t be noticed immediately because of ongoing work on Route 458, which will have that road closed to through traffic west of US 59 through September.

Keith Browning, Douglas County Public Works director, said Monday the $6.6 million project to reconstruct Route 458 from East 800 Road north of Lone Star to a point east and north of its junction with North 1150 Road was on schedule but would obviously not be done by the start of school. School buses would be able to access any homes with students in the closed construction zone, he said.