Wichitans concerned with construction ahead of NCAA Tournament

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) The NCAA Tournament is coming to Wichita in March but some of the construction in Old Town has people concerned that the city isn't ready for the increased traffic.

Orange cones sit along 2nd street, one of of a couple Old Town avenues under construction before the NCAA Tournament. City officials say it's not the only project the city is working on ahead of March Madness.

Eyewitness News spoke with Gary Janzen, a City of Wichita engineer who says some projects will be completed in time for the tournament but others will be put on hold.

Janzen says crews are working on setting up netting under bridges, like the one's on first and second street in order to keep the pigeons away.

They're also setting up temporary lighting and making some aesthetic improvements.

"We're still planning to have that project substantially completed in early March. We'll still have some work to do after that with the landscaping and some of the aesthetic improvements, but getting it back open primarily to full traffic should happen by early March."

Some of the infrastructure work you'll run into while driving in this area will be on hold. Janzen says a lot of the delay is because of the cold weather.

"When it gets that cold, it presents some challenges and some things that have to change. We just can't work in those types of conditions, primarily because of the frozen subgrade. You can't put new pavement down in those conditions because of what happens after, so we had to wait that out and that's what we had to do for some period of time."

A few things have been completed, like the mural and many others painted in the Old Town neighborhood.

Janzen says some drainage issues still need to be completed. The city expects to finish those by Fall of this year.