July 13, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Kimbrough Avenue Resurfacing and Restriping

This week the City of Springfield and partner contractors will begin the process of milling, resurfacing and restriping lanes on Kimbrough Avenue between East Trafficway and Sunshine Street. The project will result in a new driving surface and a new three-lane configuration that will improve safety for motorists and pedestrians on this corridor.

Other improvements at the conclusion of the project will include:

All of the traffic-lane changes will be accomplished within the width of the existing street without any reconstruction.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of July, weather permitting. The project is funded by the quarter-cent sales tax for capital improvements.

Kimbrough will remain open throughout the project, but lanes may be reduced at times.

Some work already has begun on Kimbrough in advance of the main phase of the project. The Martin Luther King Jr. bridge has already been restriped with three lanes. Pothole and “soft spot” areas on Kimbrough north of Grand were filled with concrete and temporarily left unsurfaced in order to ensure a solid bond between the concrete and the new asphalt overlay, which will provide for a longer-lasting repair. South of Grand, City crews have milled away the existing striping to ensure a solid bond with a new “micro-seal” layer of asphalt, which does not require the existing surface to be milled entirely.

Kimbrough south of Grand will be micro-sealed beginning Tuesday, July 14, weather permitting. Kimbrough Avenue north of Grand will be milled entirely beginning this week. Beginning the week of July 20, a new asphalt overlay will be paved to restore the driving surface.

Following placement of the new asphalt and micro-seal, City crews will apply new pavement markings, which will result in three lanes for traffic — one through lane in each direction with a center left-turn lane — on Kimbrough Avenue throughout most of the corridor from East Trafficway to Sunshine Street. The existing street markings north of Grand Street provide for four narrow lanes without a left-turn lane. Computer traffic simulation models for the new three-lane configuration indicate the street will function with a level of service equal to or better than the narrow four lanes, and will greatly improve safety. The four existing traffic lanes are each 9 feet wide, and the two new through traffic lanes will be 11 feet wide. The move from four narrow lanes to two wider lanes means vehicles will not be forcing each other from side to side at close range in areas where Kimbrough’s width varies by several feet from block to block. It will eliminate bottlenecks and potential rear-end crashes as motorists currently must navigate around vehicles turning left and waiting on oncoming traffic.

The wider lanes will allow greater offset for moving vehicles to curbs and utility poles. This “buffer” will improve safety for both motorists driving the street and pedestrians walking on adjacent sidewalks. There is a record crashes into fixed objects such as utility poles throughout this corridor. The change of markings will also aid pedestrians crossing Kimbrough Avenue who would only have to cross one through lane of traffic in each direction instead of the current two lanes in each direction.

South of Grand Street, the three-lane configuration will improve safety for traffic needing to turn left from or onto Kimbrough Avenue at the numerous intersections and driveways located in this section of road. The one-lane traffic flows for northbound and southbound traffic will have a calming effect compared with two lanes in one direction. There will be no change to lane markings in the two blocks south of the traffic signal at Grand Street and in the block north of the signal at Sunshine Street.

Motorists are requested to use caution when traveling around the work crews and exercise patience in learning the new traffic lane patterns.

For more information, contact: Earl Newman, Assistant Director of Public Works, (417) 864-1980.

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov