Hesston Road construction starts, closures beginning Monday

A map provided by Harvey County shows the first stage of the Hesston Road repair and expansion project set to begin Monday, March 14.

By Adam Strunk

If you use Hesston Road (Old 81) to travel between Hesston and Newton regularly, you’ll need a new route soon.

On Monday, March 14, the first portion of a $4.1 million county rebuild project will begin on the road, and the county anticipates periodic closures of road sections during the project. The project will resurface the road and add four-foot-wide shoulders to both sides from the Newton city limits all the way to the Harvey County line. According to the county, it’s the most traveled road it maintains.

According to a county release, work will start on the section between Newton and Hesston. The work will then move between Hesston and the county line after the first stretch is completed and finish with the stretch of the road in Hesston. The entire project is expected to be finished in late August.

Google Maps lists I-135 as the quickest alternate route between Newton and Hesston, adding two minutes to the trip.

While sections of the road will be closed throughout the time period, the county maintains that homeowners and businesses along the affected route will have access to their properties.

Pearson Construction will be doing the work.

The expansion has long been planned and budgeted for, with the road aging and being one of the narrowest paved roads in Harvey County.

The county used $2,005,000 of its funds to pay for the project and will use American Rescue Plan Act funds distributed during the pandemic to pay for the $2.1 million remaining difference.

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