Although there's been a rumor going around town the Kansas Department of Transportation has suspended work on the U.S. 50/Anderson Road project due to a faulty wall and/or design flaw, Martin Miller said that information is only partially true.
Allegedly one wall was taken down, and another wall will have to be removed as well — but KDOT's south-central Kansas public affairs manager said that isn't what's actually going on.
Inspectors did notice a series of stacked blocks that did not meet specifications. Some of the blocks have been removed and will be reset, but Miller reports KDOT did not request any kind of shut down on the project.
"Work is continuing on the project," he said. "... It's like any project, sometimes things come up."
The U.S. 50 construction project at Anderson Road in Newton 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. The U.S. 50/Anderson project will cost an estimated $22 million and is being funded by state and federal dollars.
On Wednesday, crews began pouring a concrete bridge at 4 a.m., work that was expected to continue into the daytime hours. A broken pump did result in the rescheduling of that part of the project.
About 11 months remain until the project's scheduled completion date, and Miller said with complex construction projects like this one, some delays are inevitable.
"There's a lot of moving parts and pieces that go together to make it all fit," he said.
KDOT plans to notify the media of another bridge pour coming up, and Anderson Road will be closed for an extended period this winter due to construction.
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.