Pittsburg residents wonder when construction on South Rouse will finish

City blames delays on weather

The street widening project on South Rouse between Centennial and Amber Drive started in April of 2018.

Ken Waltrip lives on South Rouse and says living next to the construction has been an innconvenience.

“For us residents, it seems like it’s been going on forever,” says Waltrip.

The goal of the project is to extend South Rouse to three lanes, eliminate the ditches, install storm sewer lines and create a multi-purpose trail pedestrial and bycicling along the west side of the road.

The work is being done by Mission Construction Company out of Sant Paul, Kansas.

The project is being overseen by the city of Pittsburg, with the Kansas Department of Transportation adminstering the contract.

The total cost is an estimated 3.1 million dollars.

The city of Pittsburg is paying for all of the road work — and K-DOT is paying for 70 percent of the cost of putting in the multi-purpose trail.

K-DOT’s contribution totals 660 thousand dollars.

Cameron Alden, Public Works Director for the city of Pittsburg, says construction is still progressing.

Alden says, “We’ve got half the pavement done. [We still have to do] the east half of that pavement from Cedar up to Centennial, as well as the trail.”

The new storm sewer system has also been installed, utilities have been moved, and the east and west sides of South Rouse between Amber Drive and Ceder Drive are also complete.

Alden says there’s been a number of reasons construction has taken so long.

Keeping neighborhood streets open and working around needs of the hospital have been some of them.

But the largest reason, according to Alden, has been weather.

“For us to be able to put down a roadway that’s gonna last for years, you’ve gotta make sure that you’ve got the compaction on the rocks, you’ve got the suitable days, that it’s had time to dry out and be able to take the load,” Alden explains. “So, this is just.. the weather has made this very challenging.”

Per the contract with K-DOT, the construction company had 178 working days to complete the project after it started.

Right now, Alden says they have 26 days left.

He also says if the work isdn’t done after they work 26 more days the company will have to pay a penalty.

Alden says, “We’ll see how the weather treats us and everything moves along there. But, it’s in the contractors hands to carry the ball to the end zone here.”

Most recently, the city accepted a bid from CDL Electric for 82 thousand dollars to replace the street light at Rouse and Centennial.

Alden says that should happen some time in September — but doesn’t know when the overall street widening project will be complete.

Alden says, “To be honest, if someone can give me a completely accurate weather forcast, I can give them a completely accurate completion date. Unfortunately, we’re still at the mercy of the weather at this point.

So for many residents like Waltrip, they have to keep holding out hope that it will be done sooner rather than later.

Waltrip says, “That’s all we can really do.”


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