December to Bring More Construction to Wichita
Nov. 10 marked the beginning of work on the I-235/U.S. 54 interchange, and December will bring with it and a major impact at West Street and U.S. 54, closing both of the entrance ramps from West Street to U.S. 54. The ramps will close the week of Dec. 7 and remain closed for about six months.
Two detours will be available in the meantime. The first detour will take drivers from Maple to Edwards to U.S. 54, and the other will guide drivers from Harry to Southwest Boulevard to U.S. 54.
Work on West Street will begin the week of Nov. 30 with the removal of the medians, allowing lanes to be adjusted as the U.S. 54 bridges over West Street is widened.
Work will continue in existing work zones; the northbound right shoulder of I-235, just south of U.S. 54, as ramps to U.S. 54, both eastbound and westbound, are being constructed. The I-235 bridges over Maple will remain under construction, as well, as they are also being widened.
Additional construction zones will be added at U.S. 54 and Harry for another bridge widening, and on southbound I-235 as new ramps, eastbound and westbound are being constructed to allow eventual access to U.S. 54.
This interchange project addresses several of the heaviest traffic movements between I-235 and U.S. 54, namely:
- A two-lane flyover ramp for southbound I-235 to eastbound U.S. 54
- A single-lane flyover ramp for northbound I-235 to westbound U.S. 54
- Removal of the southwest and northeast loop ramps in the interchange
- The eastbound U.S. 54 loop ramp to northbound I-235 will be reconstructed allowing drivers a wider turn radius
- The northbound I-235 ramp to eastbound U.S. 54 will braid into the new ramp's lanes from southbound I-235 to eastbound U.S. 54
- The U.S. 54 bridge at West Street will be widened in order to accommodate the new ramp lanes
- Auxiliary lanes on I-235 will be added between U.S. 54 and Central
The construction will affect speed limits ion involved street; U.S. 54 will be reduced to 50 mph and to I-235 to55 mph.
Partial lame and ramp closures are to be expected from time to time during the process, and complete closure of some highway sections is expected, but drivers will be notified and detours will be posted.
The project is expected to be complete in the summer of 2019.