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River bridge scheduled for more repairs
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Traffic flows over the U.S. 281 bridge south of Great Bend recently. Work to recondition the bridge will continue as the next phase of repairs begins Thursday. - photo by Tribune file photo

In regards to reconditioning the U.S. 281 bridge south of Great Bend, things are ahead of schedule.

On Thursday, the Kansas Department of Transportation will begin the next phase of a construction project to repair the bridge over the Arkansas River located at the south city limits. It will continue to carry traffic during this repair project, but will be reduced to one 11-foot traffic lane in each direction, so vehicles wider than 11 feet need to find an alternate route.

The repair work will consist of placing a polymer concrete overlay on the bridge surface. This work is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 15 , depending on delays caused by weather conditions.

However, the polymer job was slated to begin in the spring of 2011. But, "it got moved up," said Martin Miller, spokesman for the KDOT South Central Kansas District.

In August, work started to repair concrete patching of deteriorated areas and replace expansion joint seals. This was scheduled to be completed by November, but was finished early.

"We got the other repairs done and the weather was still good," Miller said.

Wildcat Construction Company Inc. from Wichita is the prime contractor for this project.

KDOT urges all motorists to be alert, obey the warning signs, and "Give ‘Em a Brake!" when approaching and driving through a highway work zone. Persons with questions about this road work or other KDOT projects can call the KDOT South Central Kansas Public Affairs Manager, Martin Miller at 1-877-550-5368 (toll free).