Work will start this week on the detour roads for the single-lane roundabout at the U.S. 59/U.S. 160 junction east of Altamont.
Travelers won’t notice much of a delay, although on some days flaggers will be used to control traffic. The shoo-flies, or paved detours, for north/south and east/west traffic will take about a month to build, depending on weather. The north/south shoofly will be on the west side of U.S. 59 and connect to Ottawa Road south of U.S. 160. The east/west shoofly will start on U.S. 160 west of U.S. 59 and end on U.S. 160 east of U.S. 59.
The roundabout is a circular intersection in which entering traffic yields to vehicles approaching from the left.
The goal of the single-lane roundabout is to improve safety at the intersection. Southbound and northbound vehicles stop now and east- and westbound vehicles do not. The roundabout will eliminate head-on and right-angle crashes. Speeds through the roundabout will be lower, reducing the severity of crashes that may occur there. The design of the roundabout also accommodates large single-unit and semitrailer trucks, Kansas Department of Transportation officials have said.
LaForge and Budd Construction of Parsons won the bid for the work, valued at $3,083,218.92. The company has 115 working days to complete the project, tentatively putting project completion into the summer of 2020.
Priscilla Petersen, a regional Kansas Department of Transportation spokesperson, said LaForge and Budd first will set up traffic control and then build the temporary detour roads. When construction on the roundabout begins, two-way traffic will be routed to the temporary detours, or shoo-flies, around the work zones.
There will be no traffic signals through the construction zone. Speed limits will remain the same at this time. Once the detours are used, the speed limit will change through the work zone.
No significant driver delays are expected during this first phase, Petersen said. The second phase involves construction of the roundabout. The third phase relates to removing the detour roads.
Persons with questions may contact Bob Gudgen at KDOT-Pittsburg, 620-308-7621, or Priscilla Petersen at KDOT-Chanute, 620-902-6433.