The Unified Government (UG), Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) held a Groundbreaking Ceremony on January 31, to kick-off the construction that will begin mid-February on the Turner Diagonal Interchange Project. Speakers included Kansas Governor, Laura Kelly, US Representative Sharice Davids, UG Mayor/CEO, David Alvey, USDOT Office Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Office of the Secretary, Sean Poole and Chief Marketing Officer/Founding Partner of NorthPoint Development, Brent Miles.
Governor Kelly stated, “This project is a great example of how a thoughtful partnership can make dollars available for infrastructure stretch even further.” The Turner Diagonal Project was awarded a federal BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grant for $13 million, which makes up 46 percent of the project funding. The remainder of the project costs will be funded by commitments from UG, KDOT, and NorthPoint Development.
The Turner Diagonal Interchange sits at the crossroads of the country – a two-day drive for 85 percent of the US population. US Representative Davids noted, “This project is so important, not just our region, but for the entire Country”. This location services 65,000 vehicles per day, 25 percent of which are trucks and it is close to other major highways.
Mayor Alvey remarked this project will “continue to move Kansas City, Kansas forward and help make the City a vibrant and great place to live with new job opportunities.” The existing Turner Diagonal, located at I-70 and Turner Diagonal Interchange, will be reconfigured to a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), allowing the release of KTA and KDOT rights-of-way and open 300 acres of land for economic development and job creation. The new interchange will provide better access to businesses along Turner Diagonal, improve safety and allow traffic to move efficiently through the corridor. As Governor Kelly said, this project will “improve safety, increase walkability, create job growth, expand economic opportunities, enhance mobility. When we work together, we can truly accomplish great things.”
Full traffic closures will be necessary during construction to have the interchange open to traffic by November 2020 and fully complete by 2021. The first full closure will be the Eastbound Truck Staging Area starting mid-February. Additional full closures, beginning this summer, include the Westbound Truck Staging Area and Eastbound and Westbound ramps to and from I-70. All major traffic impacts will be completed by the end of 2020. A webcam is live on the project website so the public can follow construction progress.
To view photos from this event, visit the Photo Gallery.