Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The daily commute just got a little less frustrating for west Wichita drivers. A major construction project that began back in March at 13th and Ridge is finally finished.
Some of the most noticeable changes out there are the new traffic lights and the brick cross walks. City engineers tell us the real reason for the project was to help move cars through this intersection as quickly as possible before they start another major project that will bring in a lot more traffic.
We spoke with west Wichita drivers and people who live in nearby neighborhoods who tell us the past six months have been a challenge.
“Well it was really slow and hectic and you have to leave even earlier and with me I’d leave 10 to 15 minutes early but still that was not enough time,” west Wichita Paul Lopez said.
“Cars just go down there left and right. Come out here in the morning and you could just see cars lining up, one after the other,” Bill Barnett said about his neighborhood being used as a cut-through during construction.
City engineers say the headaches drivers and nearby neighbors dealt with during the project will be worth it, once they build a bridge connecting I-235 to 13th street in the next few years.
“I think most drivers will see a benefit as when we actually open up the interchange here in a couple years and you'll see more traffic coming through here and you won't have to wait as long,” Interim Special Projects Engineer Shawn Mellies said.
Mellies says the dual left turn lanes here on Ridge and the dedicated right turn lane on 13th will move traffic through the intersection faster than before.