Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT)

Creative Solutions to Alleviate Traffic for Major Event Area

Bonner Springs, Edwardsville and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County

Project Overview

The K-7 and I-70 interchanges lead directly to a heavily trafficked area, facilitating freight movement north and south along K-7. With the Azura Amphitheater and Kansas City Speedway sitting less than four miles away from each other, the event traffic frequently would backup onto I-70, posing a safety concern for KDOT.

Initial Problem

The original issue focused on the congestion during events that led to a traffic bottleneck, notably around Canaan Drive. Addressing this bottleneck became crucial and required the modification of the existing interchange configuration to accommodate current and future traffic growth.

Phased Project

The K-7/I-70 highway expansion project involved infrastructure enhancements that included the addition of lanes, bridges and ramps to ease traffic congestion and improve the flow at critical junctions. The project was executed in multiple phases:

  • Phase 1: Construct the west half of the new K-7 and I-70 Interchange by incorporating the southwest and northwest loop ramps. Introduced a new traffic signal at the K-7 and Speaker Road intersection while eliminating the current interchange’s overpass and current I-70 ramps in the southeast quadrant.
  • Phases 2A and 2B: Further bridge construction was needed, including replacing the Riverview Avenue Bridge over I-70 and the existing 118th Street bridge over I-70. These replacements allowed for the six-lane and future collector-distributor road expansion.
  • Phase 3: Expanding I-70 to six lanes between K-7 and 110th
Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT)

Challenges Faced

Coordination was challenging, as this project involved three different municipalities, coordination with Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, KDOT and the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA). The intersection of K-7 and I-70 also has many local businesses affected by the construction. Managing these relationships while also engaging with the public were additional complexities that needed careful navigation. Public involvement sessions were held throughout the multi-year design phase and during the early phases of construction.

Unique Attributions

The project marked several milestones, notably introducing the state’s first dual-lane loop ramp. Additionally, it represented the largest design project GBA had undertaken to date.

Continued Construction

Plans for the construction of the remaining phases are currently on hold until funding becomes available.

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