I-135 Construction Project Begins Monday

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Drivers who travel through Park City along I-135 regularly need to be prepared for their commutes to take a little bit longer most of the summer.

"It's the five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall and orange," said Park City resident Farrell McClintock.

Orange -- or road construction -- season is about to arrive in Park City. Northbound and southbound I-135 will be down to one lane starting next week as crews repair bridges that carry the Interstate over 53rd Street North.

McClintock, a truck driver, said he and his wife are already planning around the construction project.

"She plans on taking some of the city streets through Wichita to bypass the Interstate," Mr. McClintock said.

He, however, cannot avoid the construction zone on his way to work, which will be the case for many other drivers. Kansas Department of Transportation spokesman Tom Hein said the $500,000 project is part of the 10-year, $8 billion T-WORKS program approved in 2010 by the Kansas legislature.

"They will do new concrete patching on the deck, put a new overlay on that deck and then also the bridge approaches will be torn out and replaced," Hein said.

The project will likely create traffic headaches in an area where traffic already often gets congested as the speed limit on southbound I-135 drops from 75 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour.

"But the work zone speed limit will be 50 miles an hour," Hein said. "So, it will be a little bit more abrupt and with it being single-lane, look for some congestion."

McClintock knows the project cannot be completed without closing lanes, but he has some safety concerns.

"I'm concerned about the oversized trucks that are coming through the area and the bottlenecks that that creates and the slow-down of traffic and the possibility of someone getting hurt," he said.

Hein said drivers need to be alert and patient during the project.

"It will take about two months to complete this," he said. "So, we'll see one-lane traffic in both directions on I-135 for about two months."

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