K-State fans traveling to the football game from out of town should plan for even longer travel times this week.
This week two new road projects have been added to existing road and bridge projects creating potential delays both east and west of Manhattan. Last week, the major delays occurred on K-18 west of Manhattan, but this week, bridge projects on US-24 east of Manhattan and eastbound 1-70 could add to pre- and post-game congestion.
Kimberly Qualls, public relations director for the Kansas Department of Transportation, said this is the season for football and orange barrels. She said many factors come into play in determining what road or bridge project is scheduled and completed. One is the long planning time for such projects. Another is the weather.
Qualls said the department has a very limited time each year to work on roads and bridges — only about half the year.
“We have a five- to six-month window to maintain everything,” Qualls said. “Orange barrel season will lead into winter until next orange barrel season.”
Here is a more detailed list of projects that will affect travel to and from the game.
I-70 from Topeka to Manhattan
Eastbound I-70 over five bridges including MacVicar Avenue, MoPac Railroad (between 10th Street and Adams Street interchanges), Washington Street and Deer Creek/Carnahan Avenue (in downtown Topeka) will be reduced to one lane though three separate work zones beginning at 7 p.m. today and will reopen to all traffic at 6 a.m. on Monday. In addition, the Adams Street to eastbound I-70 entrance ramp will be closed during this same timeframe.
Traffic will be directed through the work zone via cones and signage. Project work is scheduled to be completed in late September 2012.
Westbound I-70 from Valencia Road to K-30 (Shawnee and Wabaunsee counties) will be reopened to two lanes of traffic beginning late this evening through early Sunday morning for game day traffic.
K-18 from I-70 to Manhattan
Eastbound and westbound K-18 from Ogden to Manhattan (Riley County) is reduced to one lane in each direction, for ongoing widening work. Traffic is directed through the project work zone via concrete barrier, signage and cones. Project work is scheduled to be completed in late fall 2013.
US-24 from Topeka to Manhattan
Eastbound and westbound US-24 from Grantville Road to K-237 (Shawnee and Jefferson counties) will be reduced to one lane each direction for pavement reconstruction work throughout the project. Traffic is directed through the project work zone via concrete barrier, signage and cones. Project work is scheduled to be completed in late July 2013.
Expect major delays westbound US-24 over Big Blue River Bridge at the east city limits of Manhattan. Traffic will be reduced to one lane for bridge repair work. Traffic is directed across the bridge via cones and signage. Project work is scheduled to be completed in late October 2012.
Kansas Department of Transportation urges all motorists to be alert, obey the warning signs, and slow down driving through the project work zone.