About eight weeks of construction will begin Feb. 12, 2019, for a tunnel construction project under Santa Fe Street in downtown Olathe. Drivers in the area will encounter a detour route during the project.
Currently, an underground tunnel runs from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Central Booking Facility (101 N. Kansas Ave.) to the Johnson County Courthouse (100 N. Kansas Ave.). This project will create a branch off the existing tunnel leading to the new courthouse, currently under construction on the northeast corner of Santa Fe and Kansas Avenue. The tunnel is used to securely transport inmates.
The impacted area will be on Santa Fe between Chestnut Street and Kansas Avenue. Barricades will close sections of Santa Fe to through traffic at the following locations:
1. In the westbound lane just west of Chestnut Street.
2. In both lanes of traffic just west of Cherry Street.
3. In both lanes of traffic just east of Kansas Avenue.
Detours in the area will route eastbound traffic on Santa Fe south on Kansas Avenue, east on Loula Street and north on Chestnut Street back to Santa Fe. The detour route for westbound traffic on Santa Fe will take drivers south on Chestnut Street, west on Loula Street and north on Kansas Avenue back to Santa Fe.
The following traffic will be impacted:
• Vehicles traveling northbound or southbound on Chestnut Street cannot head west on Santa Fe.
• Vehicles traveling westbound on Santa Fe past Water Street will detour north or south on Chestnut Street.
• Vehicles traveling eastbound on Santa Fe past Walnut Street will detour north or south on Kansas Avenue.
• Vehicles traveling northbound or southbound on Kansas Avenue cannot head east on Santa Fe.
• Vehicles traveling north on Cherry Street past Park Street can only travel east on Santa Fe.
Road closure signs will be posted on Feb. 4. Barricades will go up on Feb. 11 to close the streets and work will begin on Feb. 12 (weather permitting). The project should be complete and roads should be back open on April 18.
The tunnel is being constructed as a part of the new courthouse project which is funded by a quarter-cent public safety sales tax voters approved in November 2016.