Martin Miller recognizes it can be tough for people to drive through road construction every day as crews work on a major project.
The KDOT south-central Kansas public affairs manager said there's still about a year left to go on the U.S. 50 construction project at Anderson Road in Newton. However, he thanks drivers for their patience and hopes the end result will be worth the wait.
"It's like every project — it's always inconvenient," he said. "But once it is done, it will be very nice, it will be safe, and it will handle a lot of traffic."
The project is part of an overall plan to improve traffic flow and safety in the region. The work in Newton will continue a four-lane section of roadway that ties into I-135. Similar U.S. 50 interchange work is occurring in the Hutchinson area.
The U.S. 50/Anderson project will cost an estimated $22 million and is being funded by state and federal dollars. King Construction Co. Inc. of Hesston is the prime contractor for the project.
Miller said the project is, for the most part, on schedule so far.
"Everything is going well," he said. "... The project is progressing along."
At this time, work continues on two bridges that will carry U.S. 50 over Anderson Road. Crews are pouring concrete on the north bridge with westbound traffic.
Starting in December, Anderson Road will be closed for several months while a roundabout is built as part of the interchange project. Miller said this will be similar to the roundabouts at First Street and Broadway in Newton, where a four-lane highway passes over the top of the roundabouts, with ramps coming down.
When Anderson Road closes, temporary traffic signals at U.S. 50 and K-15/Kansas Avenue will start going through their full cycle to help traffic flow as more cars come through. The signals are just blinking yellow now.
Miller also asks drivers to watch for slower speed zones as they pass through the construction area, and to look for crews who are working on the roadway. He wants drivers and workers to be safe.
Highway construction project locations and road condition information can be viewed at http://511.ksdot.org, or you can receive recorded information by calling 511.