August 21, 2014

Expansion of Kellogg, I-235 interchange in KDOT’s plan

The Kansas Department of Transportation is planning $1.2 billion in road and bridge improvement projects across the state over the next two years, the department announced Thursday.

The biggest project planned in Wichita is an expansion of the interchange at I-235 and Kellogg. The estimated $116 million project will include $10.5 million from the county and the rest will be covered by the state.

In Sedgwick County, 36 projects will total more than $250 million. Other local projects on the list include $95 million in expansions to east Kellogg from Cypress to Wiedemann; $4 million in modernizations along 151st Street West both north and south of Kellogg; and $1.6 million in construction on First and Second Streets in downtown Wichita.

About $20 million is planned for replacing bridges on I-235 over the Arkansas River, at 25th Street and over the Wichita-Valley Center Floodway.

The project costs are estimates.

The KDOT plan includes 464 highway projects, 194 bridge and interchange projects and 1,603 miles of improvements, according to a news release. Transportation Secretary Mike King says the projects will create hundreds of jobs. He said the state has promised each county will receive at least $8 million in improvements.

Wichita City Council member Jeff Longwell said other than acquiring the right of way for the Kellogg/I-235 interchange, the city “is not paying for the infrastructure of that project, which is obviously incredible in terms of being able to finance that.”

“You can imagine what it would take if we had to cover $116 million,” Longwell said. “Those things would be delayed several more years.”

The project is still in the design phase, said Glen Scott, KDOT civil engineer. The department plans to seek bids for the project in September 2015 for work to begin in November 2015. Construction is expected to end sometime in 2017.

“An outdated clover leaf intersection just does not perform to the standards that we hold for an area like Kellogg and I-235,” Scott said.

The interchange was designed in the 1940s and opened in the early 1950s, engineers said.

“It’s served its purpose,” Scott said.

Funding for the projects comes from T Works, a 10-year, nearly $8 billion transportation program that was passed by the state Legislature in 2010.

T Works funding comes from sales tax dollars, Kansas motor fuel taxes, bonds and vehicle registration. Nearly 25 percent of the money is from the federal government.

Contributing: Amy Renee Leiker of The Eagle

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

To view individual highway projects, visit http://tinyurl.com/lg9cqvn.

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