Main St. crews hoping weather will hold
Wet, cold weather this spring has set back progress on the Main Street project, but an official with the project's lead contractor says his workers are ready to make up for lost time if temperatures stay warm and skies remain sunny.
"The good news is if it does dry up we can still be ready to have the east side done by the first of June," said Russ Stark, vice president of Leavenworth Excavating and Equipment Co., (Lexeco) the lead contractor on the $15 million project.
Once the east side of the street is finished, construction would begin on the west side.
Stark said his crews had lost about 60 percent of their working days in the past three weeks because of the weather. They lose time just waiting for the ground to dry, too.
Stark said Kansas Department of Transportation's specifications, namely temperature restraints, have set them back, too.
A week ago workers were prepared to till flyash, a byproduct of coal-fired electric generating plants that stabilizes the ground, but were delayed four days by the weather.
Ken Miller, Lansing's Main Street project liaison, said the northbound side of the Seven-Mile Creek bridge is expected to be complete in the third or fourth week of May. By contract, the entire project must be completed by Nov. 21 or Lexeco will face financial penalties, he said.
Since the project started in April 2006, Miller said Lexeco has proven its interest in completing the job ahead of schedule.
Stark said if the weather permits, he is hopeful Lexeco will meet the Nov. 21 deadline.
"People have been pretty patient," he said. "I've seen people stop, letting people take turns. I think locals are being understanding, and that's what it takes to try and get this thing done."