New flyover opens for Wichita’s North Junction
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Another phase of the North Junction opened Wednesday morning. The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) held a ribbon cutting for the new flyover connecting northbound I-135 and southbound I-235.
The new ramp replaces the “old loop” that has caused slowdowns and backups during the afternoon drive. The project, 25 years in the making, now allows drivers a smoother commute.
“The traffic congestion was a problem and some people actually had to leave work early so that they could get to childcare in time,” said Wichita City Councilmember Becky Tuttle.
The project became a number one priority for the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WAMPO), driven by demands from the business community.
The North Junction sees about 100,000 vehicles a day, including nearly 9,700 trucks. It’s an area KDOT has been working to address the traffic needs for the region for decades.
“When business and government get on the same page, often with education, we deliver some good results,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Pete Meitzner.
KDOT said the project totals $57 million with the bridge being $13.6 million. It’s paid for through an agreement between the City of Wichita, Sedgwick County and the State of Kansas.
There will be more road construction on the North Junction for a few years to come. Crews are already working on the next phases of the project, including an exit that will take traffic directly from northbound I-235 to eastbound K-96.
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