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Roundabout nearly ready to open

News editor

Years of lobbying and planning and months of construction are about to come to fruition, as the roundabout at US-56/77 at K-150 should be finished before Christmas, KDOT engineer Joe Palic said.

“Obviously we’re not going to be done by Dec. 4,” Palic said, referring to the original target completion date. “I think the 23rd is the calendar completion date. At this time they’re fairly confident they’re going to make that.”

Palic said Friday one more concrete pour connecting a section to US-56 remained, as did lighting, signage, and striping.

“They’ve done a ton of work the last two weeks,” he said. “It’s not often you get 70-degree days in December, and they’ve been taking advantage of it. They even worked last Sunday.”

The design of the project, a standard roundabout augmented with straight wings arrayed like a diamond around it, is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

The purpose of the wings was to accommodate oversized loads unable to negotiate the roundabout, and they’ve already proved to work as promised.

“There are a lot of wind tower loads going through right now,” Palic said. “They’ve been routing them through about every day; several a week, anyway.”

Last modified Dec. 16, 2015

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