Fourth Street road construction continues
Residents will have to wait another few weeks before they can drive down a wider Fourth Street from the stretch east of the fire station to the Tonganoxie Creek bridge.
Meadows Construction crews have worked with city workers the past couple months widening Fourth Street from 20 feet to 31 feet. The new width will match the rest of Fourth Street toward U.S. Highway 24-40, except for the business section, which is 40 feet wide.
Heavier traffic down Fourth Street triggered the move to widen the street, said Butch Rodgers, city superintendent.
And of course, safety always was an issue.
"It was deteriorating, a real narrow road," Rodgers said. "It was time to make a change, Rodgers said.
An exact completion date has not been set because rain pushed back the project 10 days.
During the next two years, Rodgers said he hoped Fourth Street would eventually be widened -- in segments -- to Leavenworth County Road 25.
The next segment, scheduled for 2008, will widen Fourth Street from the bridge to the South Park subdivision.
Rodgers said a third section of construction could take place from South Park to the intersection of County Road 25, but that was still "a long way down the road."
That third section wasn't part of the original construction plan because it would take crews out of Tonganoxie city limits, said Kathy Bard, assistant city administrator.
"We can't do it until we annexed to that area," she said. "And there's no one here, to my knowledge, who has wanted to do that."
But she said the plan could change to include that section if the county wanted to fund the project.
The project's total cost is projected at $495,008. The current section costs $193,776 and the second section -- past the bridge -- is expected to cost $301,232.
Despite the week-and-a-half rain delay, construction crews continue to move along. On Friday, crews laid down the asphalt, and this week they will place the curbs.
The new portion will be the same width as the rest of the street, but its appearance will not. A sidewalk will be placed only on the south side of the street so pedestrians will be able to cross over the bridge. Because houses don't occupy Fourth Street beyond East Street, Rodgers said city officials didn't think a sidewalk on each side would be worth the cost.
The new portion will have standard lights, but will not feature the trees or fancy light posts that line Fourth Street toward 24-40.
"What you see right now is what it'll be," Rodgers said.