Sedgwick County starts 'big ditch' bridge rehabilitation project
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - On a soggy Monday in Northwest Wichita around 32,000 people will cross over the bridge spanning the M.S. Mitch Mitchell floodway, otherwise known as the big ditch, near Zoo Boulevard and I-235.
Its the busiest bridge for Sedgwick County’s public works department.
Deputy Director Daniel Schrant calls it, “a critical link in the city of Wichita." That bridge is getting some much needed work done. Schrant says starting Monday the county will be spending roughly a year on rehabilitation work for the 50-year-old bridge.
The project will include work, “on the abutments which are the two ends of the bridge and then they'll be moving on to the deck of the bridge, making deck repairs, patching, and then I'll be making repairs to the piers underneath the bridge, as well as the corral rails and the slab edges."
The work will close down lanes in each direction on Zoo Blvd. while its going. Sedgwick County is also shutting down left turn lane onto Windmill Road during the project to help ease traffic flow.
“It's important to keep up with maintenance on these projects. So that we can sort of we're not one taken by surprise of having any closures that come that we're not ready for," said Schrant.
While the lanes closures will impact one of the busiest parts of Wichita, drivers say the work is worth the headache.
Mike O’Brien said, "It’s evident that Kansas has got a lot of bridges that need, need to maintenance. I'd rather save lives and cost us with a little time instead of vice versa."
Here is a video from Sedgwick county explaining the closures.