144th Street Widening Project Continues, Prepare For Delays

By: Brittany Gunter
By: Brittany Gunter

A busy street is getting a makeover, but the construction is going to cause some delays for people in the area.

It’s rush hour on 144th and Blondo and the street is packed with commuters. It’s so busy that the city has been working on widening the street from two lanes to four.

The first phase, from Dodge to north of Blondo, was completed last year. Jaclyn Pitt lives in the area and remembers all the construction. “For the people that go through the neighborhood all the time it was kind of annoying,” said Pitt

Well now the city will continue the project, widening the street all the way to West Maple. With the construction set to begin March 1st people in that area have a lot of questions. Bud Thompson asks, “I just wanted to see how long this will take.” Kim Gust asks, “Just wondering how much drive time it will add in the morning and afternoon commutes.”

The city held an information meeting to answer all those questions and many showed up. We asked the city, what can drivers expect?

City Engineer Todd Pfitzer said, “One way traffic, restrictions, left turn restrictions at the intersection, things like that as we move through the phases.” Pfitzer said people can expect delays and to travel slower, but 144th will remain open the entire time.

Another thing to be aware of is if you like to walk or bike on trails or sidewalks in that area they will be closed.

Pitt has some advice for those about to go through it. “Just find an alternative route and suck it up for the time being.” She says the construction was all worth it in the end, making her morning commute better.

The project is expected to be completed by July 2014.

Another thing people have been concerned about is the construction around Ezra Elementary School. It’s expected to happen from May 3rd and be done by August 11th, so it shouldn’t disrupt the school year.

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