Clearing and grubbing right-of-way for the future construction of the Kansas Lane Connector could take nearly 300 days, delaying the time before the project could be advertised for bids, Monroe officials say.

The Monroe City Council signed off on a handful of change orders for the Kansas Lane Extension during the council’s regular meeting Tuesday. Beyond the addition of 281 days, the project’s cost rose by some $130,000 as well.

The $46-million Kansas Lane Connector is expected to be a thoroughfare linking Interstate 20 with U.S. Hwy 80 and U.S. Hwy 165. The project has been in development for more than 25 years.

The clearing and grubbing phase entails removing rocks and debris and trees from the project right-of-way as well as relocating water lines and gravity sewer mains and more.

“It takes time to do that,” said Arthur Holland, the city’s project manager.

The change order delaying the project by 281 days resulted from adverse weather conditions that led to higher water levels of the Chauvin Bayou, beginning in February.

“The project is still in the design phase,” Holland said. “It could be let by the end of the year, and that could take 60 days instead of 30 days given the scope of the project.”

The state Department of Transportation and Development hired Lazenby and Associates, a West Monroe engineering firm, to prepare the project’s plans.

The Kansas Lane Connector project involves the construction of a two-mile, four-lane highway linking U.S. Hwy 80—through Kansas Lane—with U.S. Hwy 165. The project also includes the construction of a Kansas Lane-Garrett Road connector to make interstate access easier.

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