Construction is underway in McPherson on highway 56 on the east side of town and it's going to be here for a while. The Kansas Department of Transportation is working on Kansas Avenue to not only improve the four-lane road but also to restore the bridge and develop new sidewalks that will include a hiking and biking trail.
The construction stretches along Kansas Avenue from the 135 ramp, over the overpass and into town up until Eby street by McPherson College. According to David Grieser with the Kansas Department of Transportation, the challenges of so many businesses along that route and the need to maintain access for everyone contributes to the longer time line for the construction to be complete since they are having to do more in shorter sections. Construction will take over a year to complete and is expected to be done at the end of July of 2017.
In addition to restoring the bridge and developing the sidewalks and hiking/biking trail, the project will replace the four-lane pavement and shoulders; replace the grass median with concrete pavement; review crash wall requirements at railroad bridge piers; and install conduit and light pole footings for a city lighting system.
While construction is ongoing, westbound traffic will be required to cross over to the south lanes and run head to head with eastbound traffic. A temporary traffic signal will be used at the US-56 and Centennial Road intersection and the traffic light at the top of the southbound I-135 ramp will be turned off and replaced by stop signs. Two permanent signals located within the project will also be modified to facilitate traffic flow.