Archive for Tuesday, August 12, 2008

83rd and Mize signal to go up

Changes intended to make trips to schools safer

August 12, 2008

A traffic signal at the intersection of 83rd Street and Mize Boulevard should be up by the end of August, making it safer for students traveling to and from school, said Lenexa senior staff engineer Hobie Crane.

Last year, the city of Lenexa completed a $1.2 million grading project that improved the sight distance at the intersection, making it safer for those traveling to and from Mill Creek Middle School and Mize Elementary School, located just north of the intersection.

"Before, Mize was pretty much a blind intersection," De Soto USD 232 operations director Jack Deyoe said. "Somebody popping over the hill there really couldn't see a car coming out of Mize (Boulevard) there."

The grading project included taking off about six feet from the top of the hill and adding left turn lanes.

Deyoe said while a stoplight wasn't currently necessary, eventually the intersection of 83rd Street and Mize Boulevard would become busier as the district grows - and if a third high school is built on land the district owns adjacent to Mill Creek.

"Traffic is going to continue getting heavier there," Deyoe said.

Plus, doing it now could save the city of Lenexa some costs in the long run, which he notes from the district's experience in rising building costs just in the last few years.

"It isn't ever going to be any cheaper to put it in than it is right now," he said. "Plus it will be safer."

A contractor already has set up the bases for the traffic signals, and Crane said all that's left is getting the power turned on through the utility companies and setting up the signals, which alone cost Lenexa about $204,000.

Although construction on the intersection started last year and was largely completed in the fall, the signals were not designed until about March, Crane said.

"I think we had our preconstruction meeting in June," Crane said. "It's a long lead time on getting this equipment, I think, to get the poles made and order the heads and that sort of thing."

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