The eastbound lanes of Kellogg over Armour and under Rock Road opened with little fanfare after the Wednesday morning rush hour, a police car and a couple of construction trucks leading the way.
But the opening still marked a milestone in the three-year project to expand Kellogg and eliminate stoplights at Rock Road, which has long been the city's busiest intersection.
It also means drivers can travel nearly 14 miles on Kellogg through Wichita without encountering a stoplight.
Traffic was moving steadily but cautiously over the intersection with Armour and under the intersection with Rock Road late Wednesday morning — almost as if drivers were getting used to new route.
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"It's going to be a little different" for drivers and law enforcement alike, Wichita police Capt. Hassan Ramzah said.
Westbound traffic beginning at Cypress will be shifted onto the freeway after the morning rush on Friday, and all north-south through lanes and all turns for Rock Road traffic will open next week.
Police officials said they do not plan to place East Kellogg under a microscope now that the Rock Road interchange is opening.
"We're going to be out there," Sgt. James Krok said. "Am I going to flood them with officers out there? Probably not.
"It's just going to take a little time to see how traffic's flowing," he said. "If it gets out of hand, we'll do more traffic enforcement" similar to what happened on Kellogg last July.
A monthlong crackdown on speeders and aggressive drivers along and next to Kellogg yielded 1,771 citations.
"Kellogg is always a challenge," Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said.
The opening of the interchange comes just in time for the holiday shopping season, a time when traffic at Kellogg and Rock always jumps, officials said.
As a result, officials aren't going to get a sense of "normal" traffic volumes and driving patterns until early next year.
Krok said he's more concerned about the turn lanes at the Rock Road interchange than speeders on Kellogg.
"I worry any time there's multiple turn lanes with people turning together in unison," he said. "If people are watching where they're going, and not putting on their make-up or reading the newspaper or talking on their cell phone, we'll be fine."
The opening of the interchange with Rock Road means there are no stoplights on Kellogg from Cypress — near the Kansas Turnpike exit, east of the Eastgate Mall — to 111th Street West.
Through lanes and turn lanes for Armour/Towne East Mall Drive will open the week of Nov. 16.
Traffic will be limited to two of the three lanes of Kellogg until both ends of the construction are completed later in the year.
The $48 million freeway construction phase of the Kellogg-Rock Road upgrade began in February 2007. Final touches will be completed by early next year.
In all it cost $155 million to convert Kellogg from an arterial street to a freeway between Governeour and Cypress.