In the new year, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is making strides toward making north Wichita more connected. It began one of its long-term projects with a bridge demolition at the I-135/K-254 junction last week. It also announced that it would unveil an early draft of its K-96 improvement plan.
Both projects are part of the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE). This 10-year program that began in 2020 aims to improve connectivity across Kansas, making it more resilient for the future. These two Wichita programs will certainly help with that.
The I-135/K-254 interchange closes for bridge demolition.
Over the weekend, north Wichita saw a bit of disruption as demolition took place on a bridge. Southbound traffic on I-135 at the interchange with westbound K-254 and southbound I-235 was redirected for most of Saturday. Demolition started at 7 a.m. and was wrapping up around 6 p.m.
This demolition was part of the North Junction project, a three-year project under the IKE umbrella. The north junction is a tangled mess of freeway interchanges and bridges that are well beyond their useful lifespan. Included in the project are multiple bridge improvements and even complete reconstructions.
The KDOT to unveil plans to improve K-96 in north Wichita.
Another north Wichita highway, K-96, is getting a longer-term facelift. This state highway carries around 50,000 vehicles every day, a number that will rise or even double in the next few decades. Therefore, the KDOT has decided that widening and improving the freeway is a must.
K-96 is important for northeast Wichita, which houses both Jabara and Beech Factory Airports, as well as Wichita State University. Having a functional and modern airport in the area is a must, and the KDOT recognizes that. If you want to know exactly what the KDOT is planning, you should go to the agency’s open house on February 2.