Wednesday, November 9, 2011
One of the area's most dangerous interchanges is scheduled for a much needed change. On Wednesday, the community had its chance to take a look at the design and construction plans for the Interstate-235/Kellogg interchange, and how a change could make the area more safe and less congested.
For drivers like Gary Moore, who takes the interchange daily, a change has been a long time coming.
"I'm on it probably 3 or 4 times a day, because my shop is right there at the interchange," said Moore, who owns a business near the interchange.
"It's too many cars for a little itty bitty space, is what it is," said Moore.
Thanks to financial help from the state via the T-Works project, all those cars will have more space in the future, when I-235/Kellogg changes from cloverleaf loop ramps to flyover ramps.
"It'll be a great improvement for the area. It'll help with traffic flow, congestion and safety," said Scott King, Kansas Department of Transportation Project Manager.
The project will include four phases. The first is the T-Works phase, which changes the southbound I-235 to eastbound Kellogg and westbound Kellogg to northbound 235 ramps to flyover ramps. That project will cost $116 million and is set to begin as early as 2016.
"This will eliminate a lot of those conflict points where we've had them in the past from that old, tired design," said Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton.
The second, third and fourth phases, when funded, will cost an estimated $240 Million. They will include changes to bridges at I-235/Central, I-235/Maple, the Big Ditch and Kellogg/West street.
"It's a huge project, and it's only going to get worse if we don't fix it," said Commissioner Norton.
Even if it is a project that will be years in the making, those getting a glimpse into the future say it is a necessary change.
"It'll be a pain, but it'll cut the traffic down good," said Moore.
"Some of those are really tight turns, so definitely, improvement is needed," said Glenn Geisler, who manages a business near the interchange.