Monday, July 28, 2014

Eisenhower overpass work to disrupt busy Ottawa roadway through summer

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 2/28/2014

Motorists using the bridge at Eisenhower Road and I-35 in south Ottawa will need an alternate route for the next few months. A road work-related disruption is expected to impact residents in the area, as well as those traveling to the Elizabeth Layton Center for Hope and Guidance.

Bridge work on the Eisenhower Road overpass at I-35 is expected to begin Monday, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced this week. The bridge is set to be closed during the project and a detour route established. The completion and reopening of the bridge is planned for August, weather permitting, KDOT said.

Motorists using the bridge at Eisenhower Road and I-35 in south Ottawa will need an alternate route for the next few months. A road work-related disruption is expected to impact residents in the area, as well as those traveling to the Elizabeth Layton Center for Hope and Guidance.

Bridge work on the Eisenhower Road overpass at I-35 is expected to begin Monday, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced this week. The bridge is set to be closed during the project and a detour route established. The completion and reopening of the bridge is planned for August, weather permitting, KDOT said.

Kiki Gladman, executive integration specialist at Elizabeth Layton Center, 2537 Eisenhower Road, said the center received practically no notice of the bridge closure, which is less than a half mile north of the facility and a major roadway for staff and clients. Most employees only learned of the closure because of a sign near the bridge announcing the project, she said, noting the sign came just a week before construction was scheduled to begin.

“We had no notice,” Gladman said. “We just found out on Monday from the big sign out on the road.”

Gladman said clients and employees will need to take Rock Creek Road or Kingman Road, which is south of the center. Kingman and Rock Creek roads do not intersect with I-35 near the center, but can be reached by U.S. 59 on the south side of Ottawa. Gladman said she expects flexible appointment times will be necessary because of the tricky traveling needed to reach the center.

“It’s certainly a hassle,” Gladman said. “It’s not just a couple of days. It’s months.

“The plus is that [clients and staff] will be able to probably leave the facility and hop on I-35 and go north,” Gladman said. “So exiting won’t be as hard for local Ottawa people as arriving.”

Hugh Bogle, KDOT’s Garnett area engineer, said the bridge will be closed but no exit ramps off I-35 will be closed. Northbound and southbound traffic on I-35 will be advised to use Exit 183 during the duration of the project, KDOT said. Traffic near the bridge on I-35 in both directions will be restricted to one lane each during periods of the project, Bogle said.

The center might try to put up signs to help direct visitors who were not aware of the closure, Gladman said, but center officials are waiting for authorization from the county.

The bridge is beginning to form potholes and if it isn’t addressed early enough, Bogle said, then the rebar — the metal bars in the concrete that reinforce the strength of the concrete — will begin to rust. The project is expected to include milling the deck, the top of the bridge and replacement of any bad concrete.

Once the top of the deck has been resurfaced, Bogle said, KDOT will overlay the deck with silica fume, a substance used to condense the concrete.

“The higher density [of the concrete] helps to prevent water and salt intrusion into the new deck,” Bogle said.

Along with the construction on the deck, Bogle said, the project also will encase the girders in new abutments — the structures at the ends of the bridge that support it. The bridge must be completely contained during the work, necessitating the closure, Bogle said.

The construction contract was awarded to King Construction Company of Hesston for $479,533, KDOT said. That area of the roadway was built in 1974 and maintenance usually happens every 25 years, Bogle said, but can take longer depending on when potholes begin in the concrete.

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