The El Dorado City Commission is looking at some improvements to Central Avenue, which will hopefully make travel safer for motorists.
Scott Rickard, assistant city engineer, said the city was awarded a geometric improvement grant through the State of Kansas for some improvements on Central from Topeka to Denver.
“We noticed a high number of vehicle accidents at the hospital entrance,” Rickard said.
The project consists of widening the street at Central and Topeka to provide for a continuous left-turn lane, in addition to a mill and overlay. To add this fifth lane, they would have to remove the on-street parking in that area.
The turn lane would serve Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital, as well as Commerce Bank.
The estimated cost would be $631,000, with the state paying 90 percent. The grant is for the state’s 2016 fiscal year.
Rickard said they hope to begin construction in the spring of 2015.
Mayor Mike Fagg asked if the state would look at the intersection of Denver and Central. His question was if, with the middle school moved, they needed that traffic signal.
Rickard said the staff had talked about that signal and they believed it was important to have that break in traffic, as well as providing a pedestrian crossing.
Herb Llewellyn, city manager, added the automatic part of that light has not worked in eight or nine years, so it is just on a rotation. The city has ordered and received the parts to repair it so sensors will only change it when someone is approaching from the north or south.
It also was pointed out if apartments were put in at the old middle school, that would be something to consider.
Fagg said he wasn’t saying take out the lights at this point, rather it was just something to think about.
The commission approved 5-0 an ordinance designating Central as a main trafficway and a resolution authorizing the improvement of the trafficway.
Julie Clements can be reached at email@example.com.