Drivers who use Kansas 7 in western Johnson County could face some serious delays for nine months or so.
Starting today, K-7 will be reduced to one lane in Shawnee from Johnson Drive/55th Street to 47th Street as construction of a new interchange moves forward. The road will be down to one lane until next summer.
Drivers are urged to use caution because the northbound and southbound lanes will be immediately next to each other. The speed limit will be reduced to 50 mph in the work zone.
The work is part of $21.4 million interchange being constructed at that location. It’s one of the first steps that the Kansas Department of Transportation is taking to completely upgrade K-7 to a freeway from Spring Hill to Lansing in the next 30 years.
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Over time, KDOT wants to replace many at-grade intersections in the corridor — like the one now at Johnson Drive — with interchanges similar to what you would see on an interstate. The new interchanges would move traffic faster up and down K-7 without stopping at traffic signals.
Overall, KDOT wants to redesign or add new interchanges at roughly 30 locations in Miami, Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties as part of the freeway upgrade.