Archive for Thursday, January 8, 2009

Franklin County leg of U.S. 59 to see concrete work

January 8, 2009

Concrete will be coming soon to the Franklin County portion of a new U.S. Highway 59, while the Douglas County stretch will need to wait another year.

The Kansas Department of Transportation awarded a $19.8 million bid Monday to Koss Construction Co. Inc., of Topeka, for pouring nearly 100,000 cubic yards of concrete atop the highway’s new road bed in Franklin County.

The material will be enough to provide four lanes for traffic along the 7.6-mile stretch that runs from Interstate 35, northeast of Ottawa, to the Douglas County line. A temporary path of pavement will connect the new highway with the existing two-lane U.S. 59 in Douglas County, allowing traffic to take advantage of the newer, wider highway.

The paving work is expected to begin in mid- to late February, with the Franklin County portion of U.S. 59 — with new signs, lights, guardrails, lane markings and all — to be open for traffic by Nov. 6.

The surfacing project was the largest included in a

$57 million package of road and highway work awarded Monday by the Kansas Department of Transportation. The department originally had planned to grant an estimated $203 million of work, but trimmed some projects because of the economic downturn.

“It’s way better to have a job than not have one,” said Mark Haines, a Koss construction engineer who prepared the company’s U.S. 59 bid. “We feel fortunate.”

Grading for the Douglas County portion of the project — a new, 11.1-mile stretch of four-lane highway to be built alongside the existing U.S. 59, and connecting just south of Lawrence — is expected to begin this spring. Ames Construction, of Burnsville, Miss., is contractor for that $57.1 million job.

Paving on the Douglas County stretch will be expected to begin in early 2010, for completion in 2011.

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