By John Sharp
Phase one of a three-phase project to add a lane in each direction on I-435 from the Kansas border to near I-49 is nearing completion, and shifting westbound traffic to a new configuration is scheduled to begin Friday, November 16, and be completed by early morning Monday, November 19.
As construction crews have worked on two outside lanes in each direction, traffic has been funneled into four narrow lanes adjoining the inside median.
With the configuration shift the weekend of November 16-19, westbound traffic will initially be split for a few weeks between three inside lanes next to the median and one outside lane, according to Chris Karlin, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) deputy project director.
After that, Karlin, said, westbound traffic will be split between two inside lanes and two outside lanes while crews work on the two lanes in the middle which is expected to be completed by spring or early summer.
For eastbound traffic, Karlin said, around the end of December traffic will be shifted from the four inside lanes by the median to two lanes by the median and two outside lanes while crews work on the two middle lanes. He said MoDOT hopes that work will be completed by summer too.
The third and final phase, Karlin said, will include work on a fifth inside lane in each direction and a wider 12-foot shoulder by the median to accommodate vehicle breakdowns.
He said MoDOT anticipates the entire project (which includes replacing the highway bridges over Holmes and Wornall Roads and rehabilitating the bridges over the Blue River and railroad tracks) will be complete by May 2020, and the $75 million project is “right on schedule”.