Kansas DOT Launches State’s First Toll Express Projecteditor@aashto.org February 24, 2023 0 COMMENTS
The Kansas Department of Transportation recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the “69Express” project – the state’s very first express toll lane effort – which should be completed by 2025.
[Above photo by the Kansas DOT]
The agency said traffic on U.S. 69 is expected to increase 450 percent by 2050, which is why the “69Express” project seeks to head off the potential for congestion by proactively widening the roadway from just south of 151st Street to just north of 103rd Street in Overland Park.
The 69Express project will add two new toll lanes to U.S. 69 – one northbound and one southbound – with “dynamic pricing” used to manage congestion by maintaining a free flow of traffic in the express lanes and reducing traffic in the two non-tolled lanes.
Interchanges that connect U.S. 69 to the local street network will also be modified, Kansas DOT said, along with construction of a new interchange at 167th Street.
“69Express will ensure that commuters can travel quickly and safely to their destinations and move freight efficiently throughout the state, further cementing Kansas as critical to interstate commerce,” Governor Laura Kelly (D) noted in a statement. “This is a smart investment for our state, and I’m so glad we’re finally moving dirt and getting this done.”
Some of the funding for the 69Express project is coming from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, enacted in November 2021, noted Shailen Bhatt, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.
“We’re proud to support the Kansas DOT and its partners in investing to make one of the state’s busiest travel corridors safer for all users – whether they are moving freight or trying to get to work on time,” Bhatt said.
“This project will improve safe travel and accommodate the growth needs of strong local economies throughout the entire Kansas City region,” he added.
Pre-construction work on the project is currently is underway, with full construction slated to begin in the spring of 2023, added Calvin Reed, acting secretary for the Kansas DOT.
“[We] and the Kansas Turnpike Authority are excited to get this first-of-its-kind project for Kansas underway,” Reed said. “69Express will help manage congestion and keep traffic moving in all directions well into the future.”