Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Busy intersection set to close for lengthy project

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 3/15/2013

A major improvement project is set to get under way on a busy roadway near Ottawa’s industrial park.

Killough Construction, 3633 U.S. 59, Ottawa, plans to begin work Monday on the improvements to the K-68 and Davis Road intersection, according to a City of Ottawa news release.

A major improvement project is set to get under way on a busy roadway near Ottawa’s industrial park.

Killough Construction, 3633 U.S. 59, Ottawa, plans to begin work Monday on the improvements to the K-68 and Davis Road intersection, according to a City of Ottawa news release.

The improvements are designed to move traffic through the intersection more efficiently, Andy Haney, Ottawa public works director, said. The project is expected to include the addition of turning lanes on all three “legs” of the intersection, as well as a traffic signal that will be responsive to changing traffic conditions, he said.

Workers are allowed 180 calendar days for construction, and the project should be completed with the intersection completely reopened to traffic by mid-September, the city news release said. But, weather permitting, the project could be completed more quickly, Haney said.

Haney said the most significant issue likely would be the need to close Davis Road for reconstruction to a point about 800 feet north of the intersection.

A detour for industrial park business traffic, particularly trucks, is expected to direct entrance to the area from the Montana Road access to the new U.S. 59 freeway, according to the news release. Flashing message boards have been brought to the site by a subcontractor that will notify drivers far enough in advance for them to adjust their route with the least difficulty, Haney said.

City officials and the contractor anticipate Davis Road will be closed at K-68 April 8 and likely would remain closed for the duration of the project, the release said.

Davis Road will be opened to traffic as soon as those elements of construction are safe, Haney said. While K-68 lanes might be closed at times for construction, through traffic on the highway will remain open at all times, he added.

Ottawa city commissioners voted 4-0 earlier in February to approve an ordinance allowing the execution of a loan agreement between the city and the Kansas Transportation Revolving Fund to finance the city’s portion of the project.

Scott Bird, the city’s finance director, told commissioners the total project cost is estimated at $1,891,740, with the city responsible for costs estimated up to $470,000. Bird, however, said the project’s construction bid — as well as financing needed to acquire land rights of way for the improvements — came in lower than originally projected.

He estimated the city’s cost would be $310,000, perhaps lower. Bird said the loan would be repaid through money in the city’s special streets fund. The loan would be for 10 years, at 2.8 percent interest, he said.

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