Completion for US-24 project delayed
by Dennis Sharkey
A major highway reconstruction project along U.S. 24 Highway will take a lot longer than initially reported.
Curt Neuhaus, engineer with KDOT, met with Jefferson County Commissioners on Monday to announce the change of plans.
The plan is to completely reconstruct the highway all the way to the K-237 interchange. The entire project was supposed to be completed by Nov. 1 but Neuhaus said planners pushed back the completion date after reviewing the plans. Now the total project will not be completed until July 1, 2013.
Neuhaus said construction on the eastbound lanes will take place this year with westbound lane construction taking place next spring.
KDOT and Hamm Quarries officials met with commissioners last month seeking an extension to a conditional use permit for a rock quarry near Clark Road.
The permit required safety and traffic upgrades at the U.S. 24 Highway and Clark Road intersection as well as improvements to Clark Road.
Both KDOT and Hamm Quarries asked for an extension of the CUP so that the highway construction project and Clark Road intersection improvements could take place at the same time. By doing the work at the same time planners said the Clark Road intersection would be closed only one time instead of two.
The CUP required the improvements to be completed by the opening of the quarry which is expected sometime in late May or early June. Improvements to Clark Road will still be completed before the opening.
The westbound lane construction will take place in 2013. Neuhaus said the Clark Road intersection will not be closed more than two weeks.
Commissioners Roy Dunnaway and Richard Malm both said they were not opposed to the change. Commissioner Lynn Luck was not present.
Neuhaus said safety improvements are also planned for the Ferguson Road intersection of U.S. 24 Highway. He said left-hand turn lanes would be constructed sometime soon along with bypass lanes.
In other actions:
• Commissioners met with land owner Bob Best about a lot split and building permits for a piece of property near 90th Street and Nemaha Road.
Best was upset that he is being required to file for an agriculture lot split because he claims mistakes were made by the county planning and zoning office when he bought the land and sought the permits from 1995-97.
Malm said the issue happened during the process of recording the deeds.
Best said he was going to incur costs close to $1,000 to go through the process. He believes the county should be held responsible.
Malm told Best that he recommended the lot split but said no formal decision would be made by the commission until Luck returns.
• Commissioners heard from Health Director Beth Brown. She said the department is applying for a federal grant to help keep the monthly primary care health clinics for the uninsured. Brown said the clinic will be losing its funding Oct. 1.
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