Crews from Emery Sapp & Sons started work in May on the Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) $16 million pavement reconstruction of a 7.12 mi. section of U.S. 169 in Allen County, from Minnesota Road south to Delaware Road. The existing road was completed in the mid-1980s with a pavement that consisted of 20-degree skewed joints with no dowel baskets. A 2017 traffic count showed that 4,820 vehicles used the road daily, and building a new one will be able to handle traffic volumes in the 7,700 range up to the year 2038.
“Over the past several years the KDOT had let several PCCP patching projects, periodically adding diamond grinding to this section of roadway to address the continual degradation of the roadway and improve rideability on this corridor,” Petrowsky said. “In conjunction with the PCCP patching projects, KDOT maintenance crews out of Iola would do additional concrete patching. With the passage of the T-Works Highway program, a project of this type was a priority of our local and district KDOT office, and KDOT had a portion of the funds designated for preservation type projects. We designated a 26.1 mile stretch of U.S 169 as a priority for our district.”
Public consultations, which included Area Engineers and GBA Architect Engineers, confirmed that a new road was needed.
“George Dockery, area engineer in Pittsburg, and myself worked together with the design consulting firm and our design engineers in Topeka to identify a project that would replace almost 19 miles of the corridor,” said Petrowsky. “KDOT headquarters later separated our one project into two separate projects to move forward with potential construction.