Roundabout project to divert traffic onto Main St.

Staff writer

Main St. will see an increase of traffic for a few weeks during the summer of 2015.

The U.S. 56/77 and K-150 roundabout scheduled to be constructed next summer will require traffic to be diverted through town on K-256.

“It’s going to be busy,” Joe Palic of Marion KDOT said. “We expect around 3,000 cars a day to go through town during that period.”

An exact date for the detour has not been set. He said construction crews would try to keep traffic off Main St. during busy times, such as when school is out.

“Because the high and middle school is located around that road, we will want to feather traffic so there isn’t a traffic jam at that already busy corner by the schools,” he said.

Doing most of the detour work in the summer will help.

Palic said the project construction also would be conscientious of busy weekends such as Chingawassa Days.

At Monday’s Marion City Council meeting, council members approved an agreement with KDOT for the detour.

“If any damage occurs to Main St. during the detour process, KDOT is required to fix it via this agreement,” city administrator Roger Holter said.

Council member Jerry Dieter said he nervously was looking forward to the detour in hopes it might bring business to town.

“It’ll bring some excitement back into town,” he said.

The detour will only last two or three weeks total while crews are replacing broken asphalt sections of U.S. 56 and K-150 leading up to the roundabout, Palic said.

Traffic from K-150 will be diverted through Florence on U.S. 50 while repairs to K-150 are being completed and side access roads are being constructed.

“Because there is more on that side to do, we estimate construction to take around six-weeks,” Palic said. “A few residents that live on K-150 between Elmdale and U.S. 77 might have to travel a mile or two down a dirt road to connect with U.S. 77. We’ve checked roads they could do this on and found them to be in pretty good shape.”

Traffic on U.S. 77 will not be diverted. A temporary road will be constructed on the west side of U.S. 77 will allow traffic to proceed uninterrupted during the project. Traffic wishing to turn east onto K-150 or from K-150 onto U.S. 77 will be able to use the original intersection until traffic is diverted at Elmdale.

Palic said once the outer access roads were constructed, traffic would be diverted on them for all highways while crews work in the middle to construct the roundabout. That will be the final phase of the project.

“The only real reason we’re diverting traffic is to save money on building two temporary roads we will only tear up at the end of the project,” he said. “We would not be building a temporary road at all if there was a way to divert traffic north of U.S. 56., but there’s no good route to do that on.”

 

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