By BECKY KISER
The $ 13.1 million North Vine Street Corridor Improvement Project in Hays has reached “substantial completion”.
Work began on June 1, 2020.
According to a press release issued on Friday by Collin Bielser, Deputy City Manager, “all roundabouts are now fully functional and posted detours have been removed”.
“The permanent traffic control is down,” said John Braun, project manager at Hays, “but there is still some traffic control that they are putting in place during the day to complete some of the items. They take it off at night.
“It should end very soon. They’re getting things done a little earlier than expected.”
Until the project reaches final completion, minor lane closures and other miscellaneous work will take place on the outskirts of Vine Street while the contractor, Smoky Hill Construction of Salina, completes the finishes.
“They’re working on these flashing crosswalks, these fast-flashing rectangular beacons. Once they’re all up and running, pedestrians can safely cross Vine Street using them.”
A permanent signing of lane assignments on the Interstate 70 ramps and exits will be made starting next week, Braun said, and permanent bands are needed on West 37th Street, where it joins Skyline. .
The cleaning, leveling and sod seeding of the areas beyond the curbs also remains to be done.
The City of Hays, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Transportation, initiated the North Vine Street Corridor Improvement Project nearly four years ago to improve traffic flow between 32nd and 45th Streets and to reduce traffic number and severity of accidents in this region.
The double roundabout built at 32nd / 33rd and single roundabouts at 37th Street, I-70 and 41st exit ramps and Mopar Drive also allow better traffic to and from businesses and allow for future redevelopment on North Vine.
“Things are moving right up there. They seem to be working really well the last few days with the roundabouts open. People can get to where they’re going without having to make a detour.”
At the end of Thursday night’s city working session, Commissioner Ron Mellick questioned whether changes to functional roundabouts and no detours could become online traffic apps using GPS. , such as Google Maps.
“A lot of people use GPS and step-by-step directions to get around. Can we contact these apps or service providers to let them know this is done? Mellick asked. “I hope they update their instructions… so people are on the right track when they come into town and when they leave town.”
City manager Toby Dougherty said he would check with the city’s IT department.
“I know a lot of this stuff in Google Maps and Apple Maps… happens through users who have their maps open when they’re actually traveling,” Dougherty said. “The platform is smart enough to realize this is a roundabout now.”
Braun expects a ribbon cut and grand opening of the completed project in the near future.
The city’s press release also thanked the public “for your patience and cooperation over the past 18 months.”