Bridge to close north of Iola


June 3, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Motorists headed north of Iola will be rerouted around a bridge near Welda on U.S. 169 while it is being dismantled.
The Kansas Department of Transportation an-nounced that the bridge, which spans the Prairie Spirit Trail, could close as early as Wednesday. The bridge is being replaced with a box culvert.
The highway will be closed to through traffic at the Welda work zone. Traffic in both directions will be rerouted along a signed detour east of the project.
Southbound motorists on U.S. 169 will take U.S. 59 south and east to Moran, then west on 54 to its intersection with 169 on the east edge of Iola.
Northbound motorists will detour from Iola to Moran, then north and west to the 59-169 intersection.
A shorter detour for local traffic will guide motorists around the construction site as well, said Brian Schafer, a KDOT construction engineer.
Users of the Prairie Spirit Trail also will be rerouted around the bridge onto county roads, Schafer said. The trail follows the abandoned Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad corridor from Iola to Ottawa.
King’s Construction Co. of Oskaloosa was awarded the $1.3 million contract from KDOT. Traffic along the highway should be reopened to through traffic in two to three months, weather permitting.
The entire project is expected to be completed late this year.