19th and Iowa intersection reopens after monthslong closure

photo by: City of Lawrence

The intersection of 19th and Iowa streets is open to traffic, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, after a monthslong construction project.

A major Lawrence intersection near the University of Kansas has reopened to cross-traffic for the first time in more than half a year.

The intersection of 19th and Iowa streets reopened Thursday, the city announced in a press release. Access to the intersection from 19th Street had been blocked and some lanes of Iowa Street had been closed since March, when a major construction project began.

The project, which included improvements to much of the roadway’s infrastructure and the addition of pedestrian tunnels under the intersection, should be fully complete in early December, the city has said. Work on the tunnels and sidewalks is ongoing, and the western-most southbound lane of Iowa Street will remain closed until construction is complete, the city said Thursday. All lanes of northbound Iowa Street are open.

Altogether, the monthslong project to reconstruct the intersection and portions of 19th Street was set to cost more than $6 million. The majority of the tunnel portions were funded by state transportation grants, with the remaining amount coming from KU and city bicycle and pedestrian funds. The tunnels connect KU’s West Campus with its new Central District and link up with shared-use paths along Iowa and 19th streets.

The project was originally set to be completed in August, but construction was delayed by rainy weather, utility conflicts and additional infrastructure work, the city previously told the Journal-World. The delayed delivery of a traffic signal pole also pushed back the opening of the intersection, the city has said.

photo by: Jackson Barton

The intersection of 19th and Iowa streets is viewed from above on Saturday, July 20, 2019. The intersection is being reconstructed and a pedestrian tunnel is being built underneath it.


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