US-56/77 roadway in need of replacement
After US-56/77 from Herington to the Marion County line was recently resurfaced, travelers are wondering when the roadway will be fixed from there to Lincolnville.
The concrete roadway is heavily travelled and is full of patched cracks and holes, making for a rough ride.
Audrey Alvarez of Herington works at Al’s Café in Lost Springs. When asked if customers complain about the highway, she said, “Oh, honey, yes. They all say, why didn’t they go all the way?”
She said she doesn’t like it because when the road department fills cracks and holes with black asphalt, it splatters up on her car when she drives over it.
Pam Idleman of Herington drives that stretch of highway to Centre High School more than once every school day.
“It’s in bad shape,” she said. “I appreciate that they are trying to keep the holes filled, but I would be willing to be held up in traffic for a while if they would fix it. I hope they fix it.”
According to Joe Palic, superintendent of the Kansas Department of Transportation at Marion, the road is suffering from D-cracking or durability cracking, a process in which water accumulates at the base of the concrete. The aggregates or particles in the concrete begin to absorb moisture, causing it to begin to crack. After going through numerous freeze-thaw cycles, the cracks eventually work their way to the surface.
Richard Barezinsky, KDOT’s assistant bureau chief of materials, said although most rain will run off pavement, some moisture enters it, especially through the joints, and accumulates at the base.
He said KDOT expected the roadway to last for at least 20 years. A new project for that stretch of road has not been scheduled, but more stringent requirements have been developed for aggregates used in concrete pavement.
Palic said the highway was created new in 2002 and was offset from the original highway. He said KDOT hasn’t figured out how to detour traffic between Lincolnville and Lost Springs if or when a project is approved.
Last modified Nov. 9, 2017