Friday, July 29, 2011
Lane closures on Kellogg are making way for new traffic technology. It's a project to improve the way you travel, but it will take some construction to make it happen. The current closures will last at least three weeks, in both east and westbound lanes of Kellogg, between Hillside and Oliver.
"I remember the days that there was a stoplight at each half mile. So we've come a long way with the Wichita freeway system and Kellogg in particular," said Kansas Dept. of Transportation Spokesman Tom Hein.
But Hein says in order to improve, there has been and will continue to be construction. It's something Wichita drivers say they're no stranger to.
"Very rarely do I travel on Kellogg, just because of the construction and the people speeding," said Cheryl Olsthoorn.
"It takes more time [in construction zones.] Have to stop, slow down, traffic jams..." said Francesca Rogers.
But KDOT says a little pain is paying off.
"Construction on highways in Wichita is a good thing. It's a fact of life here," said Hein.
The latest project involves installing two automated signs to warn drivers of congestion and delays. They'll also give estimates for how long it will take to get to other parts of the city. It will be just the first phase in a technology project that has been in the works since the late 90's.
"There's been a lot of planning and a lot of stashing of money specifically for the project," said Hein.
It's a project that is starting on Kellogg, limiting the area where an average of more than 50,000 cars pass each day.
"It's not a great thing that we like to have happen and neither do drivers. But it's a fact of life," said Hein.
It's a fact of life that isn't so bad, drivers say, if everyone obeys the rules.
"Drive the speed limit like they're supposed to instead of running it like it's a racetrack," said Olsthoorn.
The Intelligent Transportation System project will cost around $4 million. It will include 20 signs, 28 cameras, and 36 traffic sensors.
Information collected from the new technology will be available on KDoT's website this fall. You can visit that website by CLICKING HERE.