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Construction paused on 119th Street bridge project in Olathe

Reports of debris falling onto highway from bridge
I35 Detours.jpg
Posted at 1:57 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 19:57:25-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Construction on the 119th Street bridge over Interstate 35 in Olathe has been paused following reports of falling debris.

The City of Olathe said it received reports there was debris coming off the underside of the 119th Street bridge.

Cody Kennedy, chief communications and marketing officer for the City of Olathe, told 41 Action News via email that they received four reports of "minor damage," with the largest debris measuring one-half inch.

"Based on bridge inspection reports before construction, there was no anticipation of debris," Kennedy said. "The unforeseen circumstances are being addressed."

Crews immediately paused all work, and will not resume until additional safety measures are taken.

Those include falsework (temporary structures put in place until a permanent structure is self-supporting) and protection under the working areas, Olathe said.

Work on the bridge began June 1.

The bridge is closed to through traffic and left turns onto the highway, though drivers can still make right turns onto and off I-35 at 119th.

Officials have recommended detour routes for those who need to get around the construction.

City officials hope converting the interchange to a diverging diamond pattern will help reduce bottlenecks and the number of crashes in the area.

The closure was scheduled to last 90 days. It’s unclear how the pause in construction may affect that timeline.