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Say goodbye to traffic jams? Crews to widen I-35 at busy JOCO interchange

Posted at 9:17 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 22:52:50-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Drivers will soon see some relief at a busy interchange in Johnson County.

On Tuesday, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer and the Kansas Department of Transportation announced a $15 million project aimed at easing congestion at I-35 and 75th Street.

The project will widen the highway to four lanes in both directions. Right now, it’s just three lanes.

"This is an important step for the metro Kansas City area," Colyer said. "Being in the exact center of the United States, having an adequate transportation route where businesses can come and go, where this traffic can make it to anywhere in the United States is absolutely critical for us."

The reason it's so critical? The Governor said $278 billion in commodities are transported across Kansas highways and that number could grow.

"When I have been out recruiting businesses, they want to know a couple of things. They want to know about the quality of life, about schools but they want to know about the transportation system," Colyer said. "They want to see us continue to strengthen this."

According to the governor, about 13,000 trucks use the intersection every single day.

"This project has great regional impact for us both economically and environmentally as we will be able to get cars moving through that area rather than idling in traffic," said Lenexa Mayor Michael Boehm.

The group announcing the project is no stranger to the problems the intersection creates.

"I live here. I've seen this. Every single day I have lost time in that traffic jam going north or south," Colyer said. "It has something that has really been a bottleneck for the last few years and it's going to get worse unless we do something about it."

Construction on the project will start in Spring 2020.