As streets loses “state highway” designation, city prepares for financial responsibility

The completion of the South Lawrence Trafficway may mean less time on the road for some motorists, but it also means less state money for the City of Lawrence for other roadway repairs.

The completion of the final portion of the trafficway in November means that 23rd Street — one of the city’s main thoroughfares — is set to lose its designation as a state highway and that financial responsibility of the street will fall to the city.

In its life as a highway, though, the street hasn’t had all of its repair needs met. As a result, city engineers say they are trying to identify deficiencies in the existing infrastructure to address as part of a “turn-back” agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

“We’ve got some areas, particularly on the east side of town, where we have roadway failures,” said City Engineer David Cronin. “So we know we’re taking on responsibility for a facility that’s not in 100 percent good condition, and we’ll discuss those things with KDOT as we work out the agreement.”

Cronin said repair arrangements are typical as part of turn-back agreements, and the city’s public works department is in the process of using the process to address various potential improvements to the roadway.

(Read more: LJWorld.com / Lawrence, Kansas)