It will only be one block but it will be the cities first steps to improving North Main.
The Kansas Department of Transportation has approved a KLINK project for the one hundred block of North Main in Pratt from First Street to Blain.
While that project has been approved, another project for the rest of North Main is also in the works and the two may be joined together.
The KLINK project will remove the old brick for the first 40 feet north of First Street and replace it with concrete from curb to curb, said Russ Rambat, Pratt Public Works director.
For the rest of the block, the project will replace the 24 feet in the middle of the street with concrete to provide the new, smooth driving surface for traffic. The brick will be left on the sides of the street for parking areas, Rambat said.
Leaving the old brick on the sides of the street will allow the city to maintain easy access to the old water line that runs the length of North Main. A portion of the old water main was replaced during the South Main project and extended north of the First and Main intersection up to 60 feet north of the intersection.
The KDOT KLINK program is designed to improve the roadway surfaces where city maintained road surfaces connect with the state highway system.
The city received notification in August 2012 that KDOT had approved the KLINK project.
If the project goes as scheduled, the construction will take place in 2014. But the project could be put off for a year if the city gets approval for another project that would improve North Main from Blain all the way to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.
The city has tried before to get a Geometric Grant to upgrade North Main but they were unsuccessful. They plan on trying again this year and if successful, they would like to try to join the KLINK project with the Geometric Grant project.
The Geometric Grant project would continue the KLINK project with paving the center 24 feet of North Main with concrete and leaving the rest of the street in brick on the parking areas.
That would provide a new driving surface from First and Main all the way north to the Union Pacific Railroad Crossing.
If they are successful, the city hopes they can put off the KLINK project until 2015.
"If we are fortunate to get the Geometric in 2014, we'll see if we can hold the KLINK project back," Rambat said. "It sure makes better sense money wise."
North Main Street is very uneven and has had many repairs over the years to try and make the street less rough.
The South Main project has provided an example of the difference a concrete street can make for drivers and many want the improvement extended on Main Street.