Students discuss road construction in Newton


The News Wheel

A fixture of living in Newton is undeniably the constant passthrough of trains. New Newtonians quickly get used to the perpetual train whistles and long train lines, whether they like it or not. However, in July, a rivaling inconvenience appeared that encompasses the whole town.
The placement of traffic cones and construction signs all throughout the town limits was significantly noticed toward the end of summer break. This was in preparation for upcoming new buildings, renovations, or full-depth pavement repairs. The K-15 construction, specifically, is partly funded by the Kansas Department of Transportation’s City Connecting Links Improvement Program, which is the primary source of traffic detours and closures. Students at Newton High School have personally experienced the inconveniences the project generated.
“They make it harder to get to and from my house,” junior Karlyn Archibald said. “[And] the ones [construction sites] going through town make it impossible to get to stores and shops downtown.”
As part of the CCLIP, full-depth pavement repairs on K-15 began July 21, with expected completion in mid-October. However, the project did not have the smoothest start. Worker shortages and poor weather conditions put the construction behind schedule. This resulted in some unhappy residents and the community, as a whole, waiting for answers, while also trying to unravel possible solutions.
“I think Newton took on too many projects, which resulted in a worker shortage,” junior Ethan Tolbert said. “I would suggest spacing out construction projects.”
Construction sites can be bothersome because of the general obstruction of daily routines and the unfortunate delays. However, students can also carry the burden of finding the right route that will allow them to get to school on time, while, simultaneously, following the temporary traffic control. Junior Brooklynn Black shared that Washington Road construction is one of the primary sites that creates a hindrance to drives to and from school.
“A lot of people take this route for school, work, sports practices, etc,” Black said. “It makes our trip slower as well as difficult because of traffic.”
Nonetheless, there is always a light at the end of every tunnel, and construction in Newton is no different. Temporary traffic cones and detours will result in freshly paved lanes, modern banks and popular new businesses that can bring a new edge to town.
“Starbucks [and other new businesses] will help Newton’s economy grow,” senior Jacob Antle said.
Overall, the construction sites throughout Newton can cause traffic congestion and roadblocks in students’ school drives, but they also allow the community to expand and flourish. The only way to keep Newton in good shape is to endure a few weeks of tedious construction in order to guarantee the safety of the community.
“The newly paved roads will be a good addition,” Black said. “All construction is necessary to help our community develop.”