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Construction to Ease Wichita Traffic
Contractor works on overpass; trucks driving on Route 81;

A contractor (left) works on an overpass being rebuilt.  The interchange project in south Wichita includes the reconstruction of a piece of U.S. 81, known locally as 47th Street South.


US Map with Kansas highlightedWith the aid of $17.3 million of Recovery Act funds, the Kansas Department of Transportation is overhauling and renovating a key commuting route in Wichita that now handles an average of 42,000 vehicles a day.  Total cost of the project is $22.6 million with $3 million coming from the City of Wichita and $2.3 million from non-Recovery Act federal funding.  

“The project has a number of positive impacts for the area. It will ease congestion not only for travelers accessing Interstate 135 and the Kansas Turnpike, but also those travelling through the 47th Street corridor. Additionally, the project improves access to almost 100 businesses in the area,” said Tom Hein, Public Affairs Manager for KDOT Wichita.

 When the project is completed:

·         Lanes will have been added to the southbound exit from I-135 to the 47th Street ramp

·         Four overpasses will be rebuilt on 47th Street, two of which go over I-135

·         Traffic signals will be installed at each end of the overpasses over the interstate

·         Pedestrian traffic will be relocated to the south side of 47th Street

·         Two left turn lanes for each direction at the Broadway and 47th Street intersection will be installed.

·         Access to businesses east of Broadway will be changed, including a traffic signal at Emporia Street.

Dondlinger and Sons Construction of Wichita is the lead contractor. Work began in September 2009 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2011.


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