OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The results are in and U.S. 69 going through Overland Park is loud.
Leaders from the Kansas Department of Transportation, or KDOT, report noise from traffic on the highway currently exceeds federal standards and they expect that noise to increase as the department embarks on a widening program on a stretch of the highway south of 103rd Street.
Leaders with KDOT will lay out possible solutions during a virtual meeting Wednesday evening while revealing the results of a noise study and environmental assessment.
Ahead of the meeting, Lindsay Douglas, KDOT deputy secretary for economic investment, policy and fiscal affairs who is overseeing the project, told KSHB 41 her team plans to recommend noise barriers in the form of walls alongside the expanded highway.
“Noise walls feel like they end up kind of blending in with the highway and it's not a super noticeable difference, but for those folks on the other side, to be able to block part of that noise is a is going to be very important for them,” Douglas said.
She added anyone living in an area where KDOT recommends a noise barrier will be able to vote on whether to install that wall.
The meeting Wednesday will also showcase how widening the highway will impact utility lines, parks, trails and other public assets in the project area.s
Earlier this year, the city of Overland Park and the Kansas Turnpike Authority approved adding express toll lanes to 69 Highway in order to pay for adding a lane of traffic in each direction from 103rd Street to 179th Street.
The road is Kansas’ busiest four-lane highway. Construction should begin in 2022.
Wednesday’s meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. It takes place online. Visit KDOT’s website dedicated to the 69 Express project to view the meeting.