Oct 25, 2021 10:15 AM

🎥 No more cones: Vine roundabout project 'substantially complete'

Posted Oct 25, 2021 10:15 AM
Hays city officials announced Friday the North Vine Street Corridor Improvement Project is "substantially complete." All roundabouts are now fully functional and posted detours have been removed
Hays city officials announced Friday the North Vine Street Corridor Improvement Project is "substantially complete." All roundabouts are now fully functional and posted detours have been removed

By BECKY KISER
Hays Post

The $13.1 million North Vine Street Corridor Improvement project in Hays has reached "substantial completion." 

Construction began June 1, 2020.

According to a news release on Friday from Collin Bielser, assistant city manager, "all roundabouts are now fully functional and posted detours have been removed."

"The permanent traffic control is down," said John Braun, Hays project manager, "but there is still some traffic control that they're putting up during the day to finish up some of the items. They're taking it down at night.

"It should be wrapping up really soon.  They're getting things done a little bit ahead of schedule." 

Until the project reaches final completion, there will be minor lane closures and other miscellaneous work occurring on the periphery of Vine Street while the contractor, Smoky Hill Construction of Salina, completes the finishing touches.

"They're working on those flashing pedestrian crosswalks, those rectangular rapidly flashing beacons. Once they get all those up and operational then pedestrians can safely cross Vine Street using those." 

Some permanent signing of lane assignments at the Interstate 70 on and off ramps will be done starting next week, Braun said, and there is  permanent striping needed on west 37th Street  where it ties into Skyline. 

Cleanup, grading and grass seeding of the areas beyond the street curbs also remains to be done. 

The city of Hays, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Transportation, initiated the North Vine Street Corridor Improvement project nearly four years ago to improve traffic flow between 32nd and 45th Streets and to reduce the number and severity of accidents in that area.

The double roundabout built at 32nd/33rd, and single roundabouts at 37th Street, I-70 exit ramps, and 41st and Mopar Drive also allow for better traffic flow to and from businesses and accommodate future redevelopment on north Vine.

"Things are just moving up there. They really seem to be working pretty good over the last few days with the roundabouts opened.  People can get where they're going without having to take a detour."

At the end of Thursday night's city work session, Commissioner Ron Mellick wondered if the changes to functioning roundabouts and no detours could become  available online traffic apps using GPS, such as Google Maps.

"There's a lot of people that use GPS and turn-by-turn directions in getting around. Is there anyway we can contact these apps or any service providers to let them know that this is done?" Mellick asked. "Hopefully they'll update their directions ... so people will be in the right lane when they're coming into town and when exiting."

City Manger Toby Dougherty said he would check with the city's IT department.

"I know a lot of that stuff in Google Maps and Apple Maps ... happens by the users who have their maps open when they actually travel through," Dougherty said. "The platform is smart enough to realize this is a roundabout now." 

Braun expects a ribbon cutting and grand opening of the completed project in the near future. 

The news release from the city also thanked the public "for your patience and cooperation the last 18 months."