Church Street

927_Church_StreetFirefighters spent four hours battling a house fire on Church Street in midtown Sunday morning (photo by Eudorareporter.com Managing Editor John Schulz) 

 

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Crews from around the region were called to the scene of a house fire at 927 Church Street in midtown Eudora shortly after 9:00 AM Sunday morning.

City crews were first on the scene and discovered the house fully involved in the fire. Personnel from Eudora Township, Wakarusa Township and Lawrence arrived moments later to help fight the flames.

Owner Eric Quisenberry said he had left around 7:30 AM and returned when he received a phone call alerting him to the fire.

“I got a call from brother telling me the house was burning and I got back here as quickly as I could,” Quisenberry said.  “I’m just glad no one was home and my neighbors were safe.”

Quisenberry said that while he had no idea how to proceed, he did have family and his parents in the area to stay with at least temporarily.

Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter said that five fire fighters were overcome by heat related illness due to the fire and the humid weather conditions. One of the five was taken by fire personnel to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for treatment and the other four were treated on scene. A sixth fire fighter was injured when they fell down the stairway of the house which was loaded with debris from the fire. The firefighter was transported via ambulance to LMH.  The extent of the firefighters injuries were unknown, but Keiter said he expected all six firefighters would be okay.

firefighters_927_Church

A second alarm was called in approximately two hours after the first reports of the fire and crews from Baldwin City arrived to assist as many of the first responders were overcome by the heat.

Shortly after Baldwin City arrived on scene, the fire was said to be under control and multiple crews spent another two hours putting out hot spots and smoldering debris.

There were no immediate reports of the cause of the fire. Firefighters said it appeared to have started in the back portion of the house where Quisenberry said the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room were located. Quisenberry said he had started his dryer shortly before leaving Sunday morning.  State and local fire investigators were on scene and expected to spend a remainder of the afternoon on site trying to determine the exact cause.

Fire officials estimate that the house is likely a total loss.

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Construction zone

 

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The repaving of Church Street from K-10 South to 28th street was put on hold this week. Originally, pavement work was to begin on Tuesday of this week, but was postponed by Douglas County officials who are in charge of the project.

“Apparently some paperwork did not get filed properly at the County and so the project had to be put on hold for a week,” Eudora Public Works Director Mike Hutto told us.

Hutto said that the project has now been rescheduled to start on Monday June 3, weather permitting. The project is expected to take ten working days to complete.  City officials tell us that during the hours of 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, a pilot car will be used to lead motorists through the work zone. Drivers should expect some short delays between K-10 and 28th Street while the repaving work is going on.

 

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traffic jam

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Update to the story –  The following was posted in the comment section of our Facebook page from the City of Eudora’s officials Facebook account:

The City of Eudora has recognized the problem created by the stop light installed near the High School. As a result, the light will be turned off on Monday, January 14th. Beginning immediately, the city will conduct a traffic analysis to determine what options are best to improve safety at this intersection during high traffic periods. This study should be completed shortly and for minimal cost. The City will then act on the reccomendations (sic) of the study. Thanks for your patience with us as we seek to resolve this issue. While flawed, our efforts have been made with the best of intentions to improve the safety for drivers.

We will continue to follow the saga of Eudora’s stop light

Original story:

While Church Street may not handle the hustle and bustle of I-435 during the morning rush hour, it certainly looked much like the often gridlocked interstate highway this morning.

Commuters heading to work and parents dropping off kids at the schools were met with an extremely long line of traffic this morning as city officials turned on the new stop light at 23rd and Church Streets for the first time.

“There were cars backed up all the to 1200 Road,” an employee for Byrne’s Pharmacy told us. “It normally takes just a couple minutes to get to work and today it took me over 10 minutes just to turn onto Church Street.”

Eudora Police finally started using the red stop light portion of the signal on the light that was installed back in October.  The signal has been a flashing yellow light for the last few months and it was intended that the red stop light would be used only during the times when school was preparing to begin, when school let out and high traffic events such as football games.

“Today was the first day and obviously it didn’t work well,” Eudora Police Chief Bill Edwards said. “We tried out the light in the afternoons for the last couple of days and we had several cars run through it….so we added some extra signage as well.”

The signage and the fact that drivers who have not normally been used to the all way stop at the 23rd street intersection, caused a large amount of confusion today.

“We are hoping that once people get a little more used to it (the stop light), it will reduce some of the backups,” Edwards stated.

Edwards also said that officers have been monitoring the intersection and will continue to monitor traffic flow on Church Street to assist the flow of commuters.

“We are going to give this a chance and see if it improves with time,” Edwards added. “If we need to make adjustments, we will.”

The signal is set to be flashing yellow except during the peak hours of the morning and afternoon.  During those peak hours, the light is supposed to be a flashing red light and the intersection should be treated as an all way stop.  Drivers should treat the intersection just like they would at 14th and Church Street.  You might also want to add a couple more minutes to your morning commute as well, at least when school is in session.

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The end is dead and the beginning doesn’t look too healthy either

Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com

We have received some questions about what is going on with the “Road to Nowhere” that is located in front of Dairy Queen at 15th and Church Street.

This road was old Church Road (now Church Street) and was the main access south of town many years ago.  This road was taken out of use when K-10 was built and replaced by the current strip of Church Street and the bridge across the highway.

Recently, crews came in and tore out the pavement access from Church Street to where it meets up with the old road.  We contacted both KDOT, who owns the old road, and the City of Eudora for an explanation.  According to KDOT spokesperson Kimberly Qualls and Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein, the access to the road was taken out by mutual agreement between the City and KDOT.

“Both the City and KDOT realized there could be a safety issue with multiple people, primarily children, using the hill located next to this road for sledding and snowboarding.” Harrenstein said.  “We wanted to make sure that vehicles couldn’t drive onto the road and there would be an issue.”

Qualls told Eudorareporter.com that the area where the pavement was removed has been seeded by KDOT crews and the dirt should disappear as the spring growing season begins.

Harrenstein also added that “The city would like to see the whole road removed, not just the access to it.”

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The City of Eudora, in conjunction with the Eudora School District, has issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for the area located at the corner of 14th and Church St. This area includes the old Nottingham School and the Laws Field.

The RFP states that both parties are interested in finding a qualified developer to to construct a retail shopping center on the site.

Any development will need to follow guidelines established by the Eudora Planning Commission that they passed in September 2010. For a link to the story from September 2010 about those guidelines,  click HERE.

School District officials stated at the School Board meeting Thursday night, that they do not intend to take less than the final appraisal price which is slightly above $1 million dollars. According to Superintendent Don Grosdidier, the appraisal price takes into consideration “site demolition costs”.

For more information about placing a bid, developers are to contact Eudora City Hall and City Administrator John Harrenstein.

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