Traffic expected to flow smoothly
Area law enforcement officials expect heavy traffic this weekend in conjunction with the last major race of the season at the Kansas Speedway.
But they say tie-ups shouldn't last long, based on how smoothly traffic flowed through the area during the Speedway's two races during the summer.
"I do expect it to be heavier than last time," said Tonganoxie police Chief Ken Carpenter. "But I don't predict any problems."
Carpenter and other law officers actually had expected traffic from the speedway to have more impact on the area.
"I'm still going to have extra people on duty just in case," Carpenter said. "I don't think it's going to be any more than what normal rush hour traffic is."
This weekend's races include NASCAR Busch Series Mr. Goodcents 300 on Saturday and the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Protection One 400 on Sunday. In addition, fans will be attracted to practice and qualifying rounds on Thursday and Friday.
In Tonganoxie, a traffic bottleneck can occur for motorists at the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40 and Kansas Highway 16, where 24-40 narrows from four lanes to two lanes. At past races, Carpenter said, the traffic light at the intersection handled traffic.
"People really weren't backed up more than one cycle," he said. "Even if it backed up so that people have to wait more than two cycles, it wouldn't be the end of the world."
Sheriff Herb Nye said that his traffic division will be out in full force this weekend. Like Carpenter, Nye had thought traffic problems at previous races would be more severe than they ultimately were.
"I anticipated major problems," he said. "But they never materialized. So that's good."