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APWA awards the
K-18 and Karns Roundabout with Project of the Year

Roundabout Earns Project of the Year Award

In the Winter of 2022, the K-18 and Karns Roundabout project was completed. Working with Junction City and Geary County, Kaw Valley Engineering began the design process during the Summer of 2018. This project was needed to provide safe passage for motorists and pedestrians near the newly built high school and the existing Junction City Middle School. Connecting the public to the city’s systems of trails and extending sanitary sewer lines to nearby homes, this project was more than just access for the new high school.

“The K-18 and Karns Roundabout project is the centerpiece of Junction City’s work to build access and extend utilities to its new flagship high school,” Justin Owens, PE, Project Manager said of the project.

Funded by a $105 million bond, approved in 2017, the City of Junction City welcomed a new, updated high school to serve the local students and military families from the nearby Fort Riley Army Base. With the new footprint, the city became aware of the need for students, families, and other motorists and pedestrians to access the area safely. Kaw Valley Engineering proudly partnered with the City of Junction City and designed the roundabout, in addition to the high school.

“This project was vital for the safety and well-being of all the students and staff that access the high school and middle school,” Justin said. “A roundabout provides one of the safest means of travel for both pedestrian and motorists helping reduce the frequency and severity of potential crashes.”

To mitigate the cost of the project for the city, the Kansas Department of Transportation funded the project 100% with a maximum of $2 million set aside for its competition. Financials weren’t the only aspect Kaw Valley Engineering and the city had to consider. With K-18 being vital to the community, the intersection could not be closed and rebuilt. Detours would have been too costly so the engineering team at Kaw Valley Engineering devised a plan to use alternating one way traffic patterns to utilize one half of the road at a time.

“Typically, traffic control for roundabout construction requires the creation of a shoo-fly detour,” Justin explained. “I would estimate by not constructing the shoo-fly detour, we saved the project a least a half a million dollars.”

Kaw Valley Engineering is proud to partner with Junction City, Geary County and Junction City School District to develop this roundabout to ensure safety for those who use it to commute daily. If you have a project you want one of our experts to work with you on, contact us here!

Kaw Valley Engineering, established in 1982, is known as a team of experts who guide projects from inception to completion. With a comprehensive range of services in civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, surveying, construction observation, and materials testing, they cater to clients throughout the Midwest. Kaw Valley Engineering has offices in Junction City, Lenexa, Salina, Emporia, Wichita and Garden City, Kansas, as well as Kansas City, Missouri, strategically positioning themselves to serve their clients effectively.