Explosions on the west side of town: It’s just loud construction

Ongoing construction on the west side of town is going to get a little louder over the next several weeks. You may have already heard the decibel increase.

Twice a week construction crews may be using explosives to remove rock at the Langston Commons development area, said Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Division Chief James King. The work is meant to clear rocks from the area to make way for storm water and sanitary infrastructure.

The development, which is on the northeast corner of the intersection of Bob Billings Parkway and the South Lawrence Trafficway, is part of a project that will add an estimated 229 houses to the area.

Crews began blasting the area Tuesday afternoon, around 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., King said. And they’ll try to stick to those hours.

The blasting license allows the workers to blast twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, King said. Much of the rest of their time will be spent preparing the explosives for the half-hourlong sessions.

“They drill and set charges for two days and then blast the afternoon of the second day,” King said.

The blasting is licensed to continue through the end of July, King said. But it’s not guaranteed crews will need to use the explosives every Tuesday and Thursday.

This is the second round of blasting in the area this year, King said. The first took place earlier this spring.

Neighbors in the area have already been made aware of the ongoing work, King said.

But I thought I’d let everybody else know, just in case they’re driving by the area and start to think we’re under attack.

Now I have the strangest urge to go home and watch “Red Dawn.”

I report on crime and courts for the Journal-World. I can be reached by email at cswanson@ljworld.com, by phone at (785) 832-7284 or on Twitter @Conrad_Swanson.