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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 61-11
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

FHWA Administrator Gets Update on I-70/I-435 Interchange Reconstruction Project in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today received an update on how construction on the I-70/I-435 interchange reconstruction project will improve travel here. Administrator Mendez toured the project and received a briefing from Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Director Kevin Keith.

"The American Jobs Act that would immediately invest $50 billion into transportation projects nationwide, and $27 billion of that money would put people back to work rebuilding America's roads and bridges," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We will not give up because investments like this project in Kansas City, as well as in cities across America, put people to work, support businesses and help grow the economy."

Once completed, the project will decrease congestion by providing additional capacity on I-70 through the interchange and improve travel times and connectivity between I-70 and I-435, where approximately 200,000 vehicles pass through the interchange daily. The new interchange will improve traffic with longer ramps and additional points of access to Kansas City sports complexes.

"This project is another good example of putting Americans to work fixing American infrastructure," Administrator Mendez said. "Additionally, the new interchange will improve access for drivers in the Kansas City area, and it will help local communities continue to thrive."

Traffic growth has exceeded capacity, and the roadways and bridges are reaching the end of their useful lives. According to MoDOT, maintenance on this stretch of interstate was growing too costly, virtually the same as the original cost to build it.

The improvements widen the interchange by adding one lane in each east/west direction (from two to three), include the addition of a half-diamond interchange at I-435 and US 40, and replace the bridges at the Blue Ridge Cutoff and the US 40 bridge over I-435.

The project cost is $46 million, $37 million of which is federal-aid, including $34 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

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