Intersection to be shut down at 45th and Hillside

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No matter what direction you're coming from, time is running out on the 45th and Hillside intersection.

“It’s a bummer because we use it a lot. We use it to go get our haircuts, go to the YMCA,” said Jaylon Hitsman, who lives near the intersection.

Drivers will soon have to take the long way home as the city plans to close the intersection.

“It will be a complete shutdown of the intersection. They’ll rebuilding the intersection and they’ll rebuild two railroad crossings,” K-DOT Wichita Metro Public Affairs Manager, Tom Hein said.

The $2.5 million project is expected to last over the next 6 months, causing an inconvenience to drivers getting to Koch Industries and Heights High School.

Hein says the city had to make a new entrance into their offices due to the upcoming closure.

“It’s a little ironic. I’ve been telling people for years about how our projects are gonna inconvenience them. Well now they’re inconveniencing K-DOT employees because the Wichita metro office is at 45th and Hillside,” Hein said.

Currently, the intersection is a single-lane, 4-way stop and gets backed up, car after car, during high traffic times.

“If they’re putting up a light, I think that will be better because it’s just terrible up there. Especially when it hits 5 o’clock,” said Bruntruez Newton Blackshire, who lives near 45th and Hillside.

To get around the construction, drivers can take the Hydraulic exit at I-135 and taking 37th. You can also take 53rd to go north or south of the construction.

“It’s gonna take a little extra time to figure out a different route. It’s a mile or two out of your way so, 5 or 10 minutes built in, but in the end, next winter we will have a good intersection. It’ll all be worth it,” Hein said.

The intersection will be closed starting Monday, but it will only take about 6 months to wrap it up.

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