WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Many people are preparing for a weekend of holiday shopping. But, before you head out on Saturday, you should know some construction projects could impact popular shopping areas.
The two biggest traffic problem areas are Kellogg and West St. on the west side, and Kellogg and Webb Rd. out east.
Friday, more work on East Kellogg will limit westbound traffic down to just one lane for a short time while road crews shift traffic flow. But the bigger slowdown will be on Saturday where West Street will be closed under Kellogg all day.
Bridges and ramps are being constructed all at once at Kellogg and West. The Kansas Department of Transportation says to keep the project on schedule they need to close down a portion of West St. That’s something that isn’t music to the ears of those who plan to shop in that area this weekend.
Katelyn Scroggins lives and works in west Wichita. She says coming to work with the construction at Kellogg and West is a pain.
“I can’t really come in from the front entrance anymore if I want to get to work on time,” said Scroggins. “I kind of have to go through the back.”
So, Scroggins isn’t excited to hear that part of West St. beneath Kellogg is going to be closed most of Saturday.
“It’s just a bit of a big inconvenience,” Scroggins said.
Tom Hein with KDOT says beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday, crews will block that area off as they install three large beams across the traffic lanes of W. Kellogg.
“It would be impossible to set these beams with traffic running underneath them,” Hein said.
He admits the construction does pose an inconvenience for drivers, especially those who will be shopping in the area on Saturday. He says KDOT has marked detours at both Harry and Maple streets to take people to Edwards St. where they then can get onto Kellogg.
KSN Asked Hein why KDOT is starting this part of the construction project two weekends before Christmas. He said that’s what’s necessary to keep moving forward on the project.
“The contract stipulates on this that actions like this need to be done on the weekend,” Hein said. “The traffic numbers are much lower, people aren’t trying to commute to work.”
Those who work in and frequent the area, like Scroggins, understand that. But, she knows when she heads out to do some shopping on Saturday, traffic could be a problem.
“The traffic is going to be a lot worse than it already is right now, which it is already pretty bad, especially trying to get on Kellogg right here,” she said.
Tom Hein with KDOT said the closure of West Street is scheduled for Saturday only and should be wrapped up by 7 p.m.