After delays, reconstruction of Kasold Drive now expected to be complete in May

Vehicles pass through the intersection of Harvard Road, left to right, and Kasold Drive, pictured Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016.

One of the city’s long-running road construction projects is set to continue a little longer.

The $5.9 million reconstruction of Kasold Drive, from Sixth Street to Bob Billings Parkway, began more than one year ago and has restricted traffic to one lane throughout the project. The project was originally scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018.

City Engineer Dave Cronin said that the project has been delayed for multiple reasons and was now expected to be complete in May. Cronin said reasons for the delay included utility conflicts, weather and issues with soft, oversaturated clay soils under the roadway. He said some of the soils could not be stabilized with the usual treatments and compaction, and they had to be replaced with rock.

“We weren’t confident on using our standard procedures for some of the soils and paving a new road over it, so what we did was remove them and use some rock as a base,” Cronin said.

In addition, Cronin said there were conflicts with utility lines that weren’t identified in the plan when the design was being developed, and those had to be addressed by the utility companies. He said that following the subgrade soil and utility delays, the decision was made to allow the contractor to continue working over the winter as the weather would allow. Ultimately, though, Cronin said weather permitted crews to work only 11 days this winter.

The reconstruction of Kasold Drive includes new concrete pavement, bike lanes, sidewalks, storm sewers and waterlines. Cronin said the contractor was working on completing some sidewalk and street pavement, with the big remaining section being the west half of the intersection of Kasold Drive and Harvard Road. He said a change order related to the soil issues was being prepared and would go the City Commission soon for approval, but he anticipated the project would remain within its allotted budget.

The design of Kasold Drive was the subject of ample public debate. In September 2016, the City Commission decided on a 3-2 vote to approve a traditional street reconstruction design for the roadway rather than the “road diet” design recommended by city staff for safety reasons. The traditional street reconstruction will maintain four lanes and add a traffic signal at the intersection with Harvard Road, rather than reduce the section of Kasold to one lane in each direction and add a roundabout at Harvard.

Cronin said the contractor was continuing to make progress on the project, and the estimated substantial completion date was May 10. He said that while some small items, such as grading or seeding, would still need to be done after May 10, the street and sidewalks would be open to unrestricted traffic.


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