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15-mile realignment of K-14 in Reno, Rice counties to start soon

The Kansas Department of Transportation is about to begin an $81.7 million, 15-mile realignment of K-14 in Reno and Rice counties. 

The project is expected to begin around April 26. 

The Reno County portion of the realignment will be from 4.45 miles southeast of Nickerson northwest to the Reno/Rice county line. The length is 7.34 miles. 

The Rice County portion will be from the Reno/Rice county line to just north of the K-96/Avenue T junction. The length is 8.08 miles. 

The project is due to be completed by June 16, 2023.

Although the project could begin north of Sterling, it will be worked on at various places along the new route simultaneously throughout the project. 

During the work, traffic will be able to continue to use the existing K-14/96 alignment in the two counties. 

Main features of the new alignment will be five overpasses, one underpass and three interchanges. In Reno County, there will be overpasses at 56th, 82nd and Nickerson Boulevard. In Rice County, there will be overpasses at 17th and at Avenue V and an underpass at Avenue X. 

Three of the overpasses will be at interchanges: at 56th and at Nickerson Boulevard in Reno County and north of Sterling in Rice County. All three will be diamond interchanges.

The interchanges will be built throughout the project. Traffic will not be shifted to the new alignment until the entire new section is completed. 

The realignment will replace one that was designed around 1919 where the highway goes west out of Nickerson. The new highway section will be capable of being expanded from two to four lanes. The realigned section will have 8-foot shoulders on both sides. 

The new highway is designed to current freeway standards, so there will not be at-grade crossings; access will be through the interchanges at 56th, Nickerson Boulevard and north of Sterling. 

The new alignment will offer quicker highway travel because motorists will no longer have to pass through Nickerson and Sterling, and the speed limit will be 70 mph. There will be interchanges at each city for motorists who want to drive into the towns.

Bob Bergkamp Construction Co. Inc., of Wichita, is the primary contractor for the $42,090,513 portion in Reno County and the $39,658,738 portion in Rice County.