Traffic on Santa Fe Trail is expected to increase next week.

Traffic on Santa Fe Trail is expected to increase next week.

That's because the roadway will be the detour as a stretch of U.S. 73-Kansas 7 Highway is closed northwest of Leavenworth, said Michelle Anschutz, Kansas Department of Transportation construction engineer.

"We actually will close the road next Monday," Anschutz said.

She and other KDOT officials were available Tuesday at Riverfront Community Center to answer questions about the project.

The $12.6 million KDOT project will replace the highway's concrete pavement and sub-base. Repairs also will be made to bridges. The project will impact more than six miles of the highway.

The project will extend from 1,000 feet north of Millwood Road in rural Leavenworth County to 100 feet west of 16th Street in the city of Leavenworth.

Most of the work will be completed in the first phase. The phase should be completed sometime in mid- to late-October. Two minor phases will follow.

Anschutz said the entire project is scheduled for completion by Dec. 6.

She said the project will not detour traffic from the highway between 16th and 20th streets in Leavenworth, but motorists will have to drive on the road's shoulders.

The highway will be closed at 20th Street, but 20th Street will remain open.

Santa Fe Trail previously served as the highway before the new section was constructed in 1990.

People who live along the closed section of U.S. 73-K-7 will be able to drive on the highway to access their homes.

Anschutz said residents will have to drive on the highway's base material, which she compared to driving on a gravel road.

She said cones will be set up to guide residents to the nearest side road to detour off the highway.

Anschutz said procedures for delivering mail to residents on the closed section of highway will be determined by the U.S. Postal Service.

"That's up to the Post Office how they handle it," she said.

In the spring, KDOT will perform asphalt overlay work on Santa Fe Trail to address the additional wear and tear that will be caused by detour traffic.

One of the people who attended the open house was Leavenworth County Commission Chairman Bob Holland. He lives off U.S. 73-K-7 on Happy Hollow Road and will be impacted by the project.

Holland said a number of his constituents have contacted him about the project.

Holland said he thinks the construction effort will go well, but people won't be able to drive as fast on the detour road of Santa Fe Trail.

He said residents may have to allow for extra time to reach their destinations.

Anschutz said KDOT may move eastward next year, replacing the pavement on Metropolitan Avenue in Leavenworth. 

She said this project would be broken into multiple phases.