U.S. 69/I-435 construction project gets $115 million

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback this morning announced $115 million for a road project on U.S. 69 and Interstate 435 in Overland Park.

The money was among $250 million in funds for road projects announced this morning. The projects include expansion of Kansas 18 in Riley Counties and U.S. 50 in Reno County. Those three projects will be first projects funded by the $8.2 billion state highway plan passed by the Kansas Legislature last year.

The state plan was partly funded by a 1-cent sales tax increase and an increase in registration fees on big trucks.

The Johnson County project is part of a half-billion dollar strategy for widening the highway from I-35 to 167th Street. Overland Park already is using federal stimulus money to widen the segment from I-35 to I-435.

The state will provide about $100 million for the Overland Park project, and the city will spend about $10 million to $12 million.

And the city has been seeking $100 million more to build on that vision by reconstructing the interchange at I-435 and Quivira Road and adding auxiliary lanes to I-435.

The city also wants to build ramps that separate traffic on the main highways from vehicles that exit and enter U.S. 69 and I-435. The separation is intended alleviate congestion caused by drivers weaving in and out.

For example, southbound U.S. 69 drivers would have to reach 119th Street by exiting at 103rd Street. And westbound I-435 drivers would have to exit at U.S. 69 to get to Quivira Road.

The projects announced today were selected because they are ready to go and highway officials wants to take advantage of low bid prices.

A more comprehensive list of projects, a few of which are being analyzed in more detail, will be announced later in the year.