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US-56 detour just the start of inconvenience

Staff writer

With US-56 at K-150 scheduled, pending the weather, for an Aug. 28 reopening, a larger, longer detour looms in the future that will close K-150 until December.

While the US-56 detour added two miles of extra driving, the K-150 detour will add 10 extra miles of driving, said Mervin Lare with Marion’s KDOT office.

The detour will send eastbound drivers south on US-77 to Florence, where they can continue east on US-50. Westbound drivers on US-50 near Elmdale will have to drive to Florence then back up US-77 to the junction with US-56 to reach Marion.

Lare said he didn’t know when K-150 would close.

“There’s no good answer for that right now,” he said.

The closure wouldn’t happen until after the reopening of US-56. The “drop dead” reopening date for US-56, beyond which the contractor incurs penalties, is Sept. 5. It would take “extraordinary circumstances” to extend that deadline, Lare said.

Crews are constructing “shoo flies,” or bypasses, along where the roundabout is to go in. More will be constructed once K-150 is closed. Lare said the method used by Cornejo Construction will extend the length of the detour, but shorten the time of the overall project, which is scheduled for completion by Dec. 21, a date that had been pushed back from Dec. 4.

Lare said the vehicles detoured at K-150 will be fewer but heavier.

“There probably is less traffic that goes on K-150,” he said, “but it’s bigger traffic. There are more semis and that kind of thing.”

Last modified Aug. 20, 2015

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