Hamm, KDOT projects to coincide
by Dennis Sharkey
County Commissioners are set to approve a resolution this Monday to grant a variance to road improvements for a new rock quarry operated by Hamm Inc.
Part of a conditional use permit granted by the county in 2010 called for Hamm Inc. to widen part of Clark Road and make improvements to the intersection of Clark Road and U.S. 24 Highway. The improvements call for acceleration and deceleration lanes to be constructed by Hamm Inc.
Hamm is required to have the improvements completed before the opening of the quarry. Charlie Sedlock with Hamm Inc. told commissioners on Monday that he anticipates a late May or early June opening of the quarry for business.
However, the Kansas Department of Transportation recently announced that several millions of dollars would be spent this year on expedited road projects. One of the projects on the list is a complete concrete replace of U.S. 24 Highway from Grantville to the K-237 interchange.
Curt Niehaus, an engineer with KDOT, told commissioners on Monday that his department would like to see a variance granted to the conditional use permit through the construction phase of the highway project.
The project bid will be let next month with an anticipated start date of mid April or early May. Niehaus said the latest the construction period would run would be until November.
“It just seemed to make sense for both KDOT and for the residents of Jefferson County that we inconvenience you only one time,” Niehaus told commissioners.
Niehaus said the intersection improvements and the highway construction will take place at the same time. The variance is needed because it will be up to the contractor to determine at what time during the project that portion of the construction is performed.
“We think we’ll get a better product,” Niehaus said. “We’re going to be in there anyway.”
Some of the Clark Road improvements will be completed before the road project begins.
Clark Road will be shut down for a two to four week period while the construction takes place.
Road and Bridge Director Francis Hubbard said the alternate route will have to go down 31st Street for about a mile and then south on KOA Road to the highway.
“I think at the end of the day the county, the state and the citizens will end up with a better product,” Sedlock said.
“We’re not in anyway asking to reduce the work there,” Niehaus added.
Sedlock said other work is also going on around the quarry like access roads and erosion control and that they are in their final permitting stage.
In other actions:
• County Treasurer Mary Underwood met with commissioners to approve a bid on a $2 million CD. The short term CD will garner the county about $3,000 in interest.
• Hubbard reported that six trucks used about eight tons of salt and sand mix during a snow storm on Saturday, Feb. 4.
• Commissioners opened two bids for new road graders and submitted them to Hubbard to determine the lowest bid.
First District Commissioner Lynn Luck questioned why the county was seeking bids for two graders when the commission is considering a move to eight grader routes from nine.
She said the commission will have to make a decision about the switch soon.
“My thought when we were talking about the graders this would be a perfect opportunity because we’re getting new graders was,” Luck said. “I think it’s a decision we need to make here quickly.”
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