Construction could slow traffic in southwest Johnson County

Bad commuting news this morning for Southwest Johnson County drivers.

First, the 143rd Street bridge spanning Captain Creek west of Olathe will close for six months starting Monday morning.

Beginning at 9 a.m., the 50-year-old bridge — located one mile east of County Line Road — will close so it can be replaced. The state highway department said it expects the project to be done by mid-October. A detour will be marked.

Second, U.S. 56 in Gardner will be narrowed to one lane in each direction at the inersection of Old 56 Highway starting at 9 a.m.

The project calls for adding right-turn lanes and installing new traffic signals at the intersection. Drivers also can expect access to be restricted as they turn from Old 56 Highway onto U.S. 56. Drivers are being warned about potential delays and are encouraged to find an alternate route.