Apr 23, 2021 6:01 PM

🎥 Intersection improvements to aid new travel plaza, Northwest Business Corridor

Posted Apr 23, 2021 6:01 PM
Improvements to the intersection of 230th Ave. and 55th Street will enhance development of a new truck plaza and Ellis County's Northwest Business Corridor. The  intersection work is scheduled to begin in May and be completed in September. 
Improvements to the intersection of 230th Ave. and 55th Street will enhance development of a new truck plaza and Ellis County's Northwest Business Corridor. The  intersection work is scheduled to begin in May and be completed in September. 

By BECKY KISER
Hays Post

A major stage in the development of improved traffic flow on the northwest side of Hays will get underway next month.

City commissioners Thursday night approved a contract for improvements to the intersection of 230th Avenue and 55th Street just north of the Interstate 70 Exit 157.

The low bid of $1,878,301 from Hess Services of Hays - which was below the engineer's estimate - was just $9,100 less than the next lowest bid from Smoky Hill Construction, Salina. The construction engineering agreement with Driggs Design, Hays, at a cost of $140,800 puts the total project cost at $2 million.

At the request of Ellis County, the city in December 2019 assumed responsibility for a $1.5 million Kansas Department of Transportation economic development grant for the project.

The improvement work will be paid with the KDOT grant.

The $500,000 overage will be paid by the developer of the Hays Truck Plaza, D&J Land and Development LLC. A new truck stop is being built just north of the intersection. 

All project costs will be reimbursed to the city by the KDOT grant and the truck stop developer. 

Ellis County's  proposed Northwest Business Corridor will move  semi-truck traffic and oversized loads around the west side Hays rather than through the middle of the city. 
Ellis County's  proposed Northwest Business Corridor will move  semi-truck traffic and oversized loads around the west side Hays rather than through the middle of the city. 

The intersection sits at the southwest edge of the Ellis County Northwest Business Corridor project which will improve the width and surface condition of two county roads along a four-mile stretch north and west of Hays. The north/south section is 230th Avenue.

The well-traveled hilly avenue passes by several heavy industrial sites, Goodman Energy Center, Celebration Community Church, and private residences.

Intersection improvements include grading, pavement, curb and gutter, storm sewer, sidewalk, and pavement markings, according to Hays Project Manager John Braun.

Hess Services has hired subcontractor Morgan Brothers, LaCrosse, to do the concrete paving, while Hess will do the earthwork and storm sewer improvement.

Mayor Sandy Jacobs asked if the intersection would have to be closed during the work, which is expected to take 120 days.

The project will be "done in three phases and they're finding ways around," Braun said.

"It's mostly because of the elevation differences. They're flattening the hills and raising the valleys. The offset difference between trying to construct half of it and keeping a lane of traffic open and keeping it safe and the amount of space it would take, just wouldn't be possible. So they actually have to shut down entire sections at a time, and they're finding ways around."

Commissioners also approved four low bids as recommended by Jeff Crispin, water resources director:

* $119,000 from Integrity Municipal Systems, Poway, Calif., for a replacement lime slaker used in the process of softening city water 
* $94,705 from Foley Power Solutions, Topeka, for two portable generators, one each for water production and water reclamation
* $108,937 from Pipe Detectives, Jamestown, N.D., for light cleaning and video inspection of 22 miles of sanitary sewer line
* $65,246 from Downey Drilling, Lexington, Neb., for rehabilitation of four city water wells and two Smoky Hill River wells near Schoenchen

The following volunteer committee member appointments recommended by Jacobs were approved:

The March 2021 financial statement presented by Kim Rupp, finance director, was accepted and a cereal malt beverage license for the Hays Kiwanis Club for the Wild West Festival in July was approved.

Commissioners also heard a recent progress report by city departments from Collin Bielser, assistant city manager.