Intersection work slated for next year
Work should get under way in about six months on extensive improvements to the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40 and Kansas Highway 16.
The city now is acquiring from several property owners the right of way that is necessary to expand the intersection.
The completed project will make a tremendous difference for Tonganoxie's busiest intersection, according to Cecil Kingsley, Tonganoxie's city engineer.
"This is an amazing project," said Cecil Kingsley, a principal in BG Consultants, Lawrence.
Once completed, all approaches to the intersection will feature additional lanes, as well as new traffic signals.
Both approaches to the intersection on 24-40 also will include a left-turn lane, a through-traffic lane and a third lane designated for right turns and through traffic.
And both the Fourth Street approach and the K-16 approach will be rebuilt to include left-turn lanes and one lane to handle through traffic and right turns.
Bids for the work should be let in April, with construction beginning within one or two months.
During construction, Kingsley said, traffic will be re-routed through the intersection. But City Administrator Chris Clark said work would take between nine and 12 months to complete.
"Part of the reason for that is they can't close down the highway," he said.
The Kansas Department of Transportation will pay up to $600,000 of the construction costs, which are estimated at $608,575. According to Clark, the city will be responsible for any costs over the $600,000 cap.
"The city was responsible for all the design work of the project," he said. "We had to pay 100 percent of that, and we are responsible for 100 percent of the property acquisition for the project. There are six properties we're trying to acquire."
While the cost of property acquisition won't be determined for several more weeks, the city has paid $52,000 to Kingsley's firm for engineering and design work.
Kingsley said the work would improve the appearance of the intersection.
"It's just like downtown it's going to be night and day when we're finished," Kingsley said.
The most recent traffic counts for the area from the Kansas Department of Transportation show:
5,390 vehicles a day travel on 24-40 south of the intersection.
8,660 vehicles a day travel on 24-40 north of the intersection.
5,390 vehicles a day travel on Kansas Highway 16 west of the intersection.
985 vehicles a day travel on Fourth Street east of the intersection.