This intersection was improved as part of the Memorial Drive widening project between 71st and 91st streets. The northbound lanes were built first, as the southbound lanes are on the original two-lane alignment. Following completion of the northbound lanes, traffic was detoured to them, and the southbound lanes were rebuilt. The project began in 1982 and was completed in 1984. The intersection is four lanes on Memorial Drive and two lanes on 81st Street, with left-turn lanes on each approach. When the project first was completed, 81st Street did not have left-turn signals, but they were added a few months after completion, which also resulted in right-turn arrows being installed on Memorial Drive. The medians on Memorial Drive are wider than most medians, as the street's curbs and storm sewers are in place for a six-lane street. When Memorial Drive eventually becomes six lanes in the area, the medians will be reduced in size to accommodate the extra lanes, thus eliminating the need to relocate/rebuild curbs and storm sewers. The 81st Street approaches are asphalt, and they will be repaved when 81st Street eventually is widened in the area. That work is not funded at this time. Photo taken May 1986.
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