If you drive on Interstate 35 between Wichita and Oklahoma City, some toll booth construction will slow down your commute. But the drive will be faster for those with K-TAGs after the project is completed.
The $15.3 million reconstruction project starts Monday on the Southern Terminal Toll Plaza in Sumner County about 16 miles north of the Kansas/Oklahoma border, Kansas Turnpike Authority spokesperson Jeri Biehler said in a release.
New northbound cash lanes will be built to the east of the existing lanes, as well as new highway-speed electronic lanes for both northbound and southbound traffic, the release said. Reconstruction of bridges crossing the turnpike at 30th and 40th streets south is included in the project.
The project will convert the toll plaza to the so-called “open road tolling” collection method, which allows electronic customers with K-TAGs or other compatible transponder to drive through at highway speeds, the release said. Cash customers can go through slower lanes to the right and out of the way of the faster traffic.
Similar upgrades were completed at the Eastern Terminal near Kansas City in 2017, and upgrades at the toll plaza on the east side of Topeka are schedule for completion this fall, the release said.
Substantial completion of the Southern Terminal project is expected in December 2019, with final completion in March 2020, Biehler said.