Utility relocations underway in Downtown Topeka, traffic impacts expected

The City of Topeka’s utility relocations are underway in Downtown Topeka in preparation for the larger Polk-Quincy Viaduct Reconstruction project, which is being led by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).

The city must relocate sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water utilities before reconstruction of the viaduct can begin in the spring of 2025. Work will include replacing and relocating aged infrastructure, some of which is nearly 100 years old.

The city’s utility relocations include six total projects in the general area of the viaduct. The viaduct spans I-70 from MacVicar Ave. to 6th St.

In total, approximately 12,600 square yards of pavement, 7,035 feet of sanitary sewer, 2,644 feet of storm sewer and 6,009 feet of water line will be removed and replaced.

The first of the six projects, identified as Project 2, included the closure of 1st St. between Polk St. and Taylor St. This project included new water line and is scheduled to be complete in January 2024.

The remaining five projects, referred to as projects 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are set to begin in early 2024. Project timelines will be coordinated to help minimize traffic and construction impacts to businesses, drivers and residents. While the city will make efforts to minimize full road closures and maintain two-way traffic throughout construction, commuters who regularly drive the I-70 corridor through downtown should plan for potentially significant traffic delays. Alternate routes are encouraged. Detour information will be posted and shared in advance of any full road closure.

The city developed a website that is dedicated to these utility relocation projects. To view detour information, status updates and more, please visit https://www.topeka.org/utilities/pqv/.

City of Topeka Utilities Director Sylvia Davis is expected to make a presentation about these projects to the Governing Body during the January 9, 2024 Topeka City Council Meeting. Listen in person or watch live on Cox Local Channel 4, Facebook or the City4 Livestream. Community members are encouraged to tune in to learn more about the projects.