Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2007

Officials hail project’s end

November 29, 2007

The cones have been cleared for a few weeks now, but the official end of the Main Street project came Wednesday in a long-awaited ribbon-cutting ceremony.

City officials, Kansas Department of Transportation representatives and Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce members gathered at the First National Bank at Main and Mary streets to mark the completion of the $17 million project that began in May 2006.

Mayor Kenneth Bernard, center, cuts through a red ribbon Wednesday, Nov. 28, during the Main Street ribbon-cutting ceremony at First National Bank, Main and Mary streets. Holding the ribbon at Bernard's right are Kansas Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller and Lexeco Inc. president Greg Kaaz. The ceremony marked the official completion of the $17 million Main Street Enhancement Project that began in May 2006.

Mayor Kenneth Bernard, center, cuts through a red ribbon Wednesday, Nov. 28, during the Main Street ribbon-cutting ceremony at First National Bank, Main and Mary streets. Holding the ribbon at Bernard's right are Kansas Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller and Lexeco Inc. president Greg Kaaz. The ceremony marked the official completion of the $17 million Main Street Enhancement Project that began in May 2006.

"When we started the project, we all knew we'd go through trials and tribulations," Mayor Kenneth Bernard said at the beginning of the ceremony.

He went on to say that the project was handled so efficiently that it was much easier than he expected.

Bernard said that as a result of the construction project on Main Street, which included work such as widening the roadway, a bridge replacement and new curbs, guttering and sidewalks, Lansing residents would soon see economic progress in other areas.

Joining the celebration was Deb Miller, Kansas Secretary of Transportation. Miller said the partnership between Lansing and KDOT is what made the Main Street, project so successful. Not only were the work relationships good, but Miller said Lansing's dedication to the project, especially the willingness to contribute 20 percent of costs, was greatly appreciated.

In 20 years, Miller said Lansing can expect to see the traffic along Main Street double, and then all the hardships the residents and businesses had to endure during construction will seem worth it.

"Citizens are going to be glad the project got done and got done the way it did," she said.

Throughout the project, there were 35,000 hours of personnel time logged, 830 truckloads of cement, 2,000 truckloads of asphalt and 1.7 miles of sewer pipe laid said Greg Kaaz, president of Lexeco Inc., the lead contractor on the project. He said it took a lot of hard-working people to finish the project, and he said he was fortunate to have been able to work with people who were willing to put so much time in from the beginning.

In an earlier interview, Ken Miller, project liaison for the Main Street Project, said the ribbon ceremony was like a last hurrah. He said it was a good feeling to be able to get everyone together to celebrate each other's contributions.

The most challenging part of the project, Ken Miller said, was knowing exactly what was going to happen next. He said staying ahead of the project was important when it can to communicating changes or potential roadblocks to the residents and businesses of Lansing.

Overall though he said that knowing that the project has finally come to end feels "great." He said he is most thankful for the fact that throughout the 18-month process not one crewmember was significantly injured.

Now everyone that travels up and down Main Street each day, Ken Miller said, will hopefully get the same feeling of pride as he does in the work the city has accomplished together.

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