WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The long awaited new ramp from northbound I-135 to I-235 in north Wichita is now open.

The Kansas Department of Transportation confirmed the north junction ramp will open on May 31. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at 10:30 a.m. 

“It's been a long time coming," says Calvin Reed, the acting secretary of transportation. "We've known that this is an issue for 25 years, we finally had everything to come together in terms of funding and need to be able to finally address this.”

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KDOT's I-135 Gold Project started two years ago. The new interchange will expand lanes and get rid of the tight clover loops, so traffic will finally move smoothly.

City councilwoman and head of WAMPO Becky Tuttle tells KAKE this flyover should remove a lot of headaches for drivers. “I have residents in my district who tell me they who work in this area, they would have to leave work early because they couldn't get to childcare in time because of the traffic congestion.”

The project is seen not only as key to making it easier to drive in Wichita's north end but an important economic catalyst as well.

“100,000 vehicles go through this interchange every day, 10,000 of them are trucks. That means there are a lot of, a lot of commerce that is going through this interchange and it's not just commerce that supports the city of Wichita, it's the commerce that supports the entire region,” says Reed.

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The next phase of the project will connect I-235 NB to K-96 and is slated to be done by 2026.