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Interim City Engineer joins Mayor, City Manager for road construction announcement

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 4:59 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Warmer temperatures brings more street crews making changes to Topeka roadways. We heard about the plans from Topeka City Mayor Michelle De La Isla and City Manager Brent Trout Tuesday morning.

Their virtual meeting included Topeka’s Interim City Engineer Mark Schreiner as well. He talked about the construction starting around the capital city, all joining him in optimism moving forward into the spring and summer.

“We’re currently looking forward to another busy construction season in 2021 to fix our streets, provide the right treatment for the right road at the right time,” he said.

The Pavement Management Program has three parts: evaluating pavement conditions, figuring a treatment strategy (reconstruction, rehabilitation, preventative maintenance or stop gap measures, like pothole patching) and how to pay for it. Whether it’s through taxes, bonds or funds.

Schreiner said there are five construction projects underway for their “Fix Our Streets” initiative. He said four more are expected to start in April and one in June.

One of the five being worked on is at 12th Street from S. Kansas Ave. to SW Washburn Ave. The project totals $13.2 million from the countywide sales tax and federal funds.

Schreiner said, “This includes a new street, a one-way traffic lane, and an auxiliary lane for parking, bus pullouts and deliveries. Sidewalks and shared-use paths included.”

The plan is to finish that area then move to the next phase from SW Washburn to Gage Blvd. in 2022.

The projects are planned to be worked on from March through November.

COVID-19 has not impacted the material costs of construction but Schreiner said it could.

“There still is that possibility that material cost can go up but they should have previously. Any projects that are under construction or have been bid and approved, are locked in on those values,” he said.

He, and De La Isla, urged Topekans to be aware of their surrounding as the city starts making the changes to roads and street signs, including changes to walkways.

“I do want to stress to be safe in work zones for both the citizens of Topeka and for the contractors,” he said.

All street projects can be found on the City of Topeka’s Project Portal.

For county road projects, call 785-251-6101.

Trout was excited to talk of the new Director for Public Works who will overlook roadwork plans and construction as well. James Jackson, previously the Commissioner of Public Works for Atlanta, Ga., will start on April 5.

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