Highway completion hits detour
Additional work has been added to the widening of U.S. Highway 56 through Baldwin City. However, city officials still expect the work to be completed or nearly completed before the Maple Leaf Festival, Oct. 21-22.
The Kansas Department of Transportation decided to add on to the project by cutting about an inch of asphalt from the surface of the highway and laying a new layer of asphalt, which is called milling. KDOT plans to mill U.S. Highway 56 from U.S. Highway 75 to the Douglas/Johnson county line in the spring. KDOT officials decided to complete the project through Baldwin in conjunction with the existing construction.
Paine said KDOT is paying for 100 percent of that cost.
"They are just doing it in advance," Paine said. "It will look sharp when it's done."
The rest of the highway project is making progress, said Bill Winegar, city assistant utility director. He said the Ninth Street entrance may be the only unfinished part of the project come time for the Maple Leaf Festival, but it should at least be open. He hopes it all will be done.
"Everything is supposed to be open by the Maple Leaf Festival," Winegar said. "There is a possibility that Ninth Street won't be finished."
The state had scheduled to lay asphalt this week, but because of a forecast for rain and cooler weather, may hold off.
"The state is pretty strict on weather conditions, and it may not happen this week," Winegar said.
He said temperatures in the 70s are ideal for asphalt. The asphalt would help finalize the project.
"The state decided to go ahead and do it (asphalt), so the project would look more complete," Winegar said.