In order to alleviate traffic and prevent car accidents in Kansas City, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is considering making extensive improvements on Interstate 70.
Some of the changes include closing access at as many as 6 interchanges that now have on and off ramps. Those interchanges might include 18th Street, 27th Street, Benton Boulevard, Brooklyn Avenue, and Manchester Trafficway.
The proposal could also include interchange updates and improvements, lane additions, and straightening of particularly dangerous curves in the highway.
Engineers hope these changes could fix bottleneck areas. At the same time, the project would cost hundreds of millions of dollars - money the city doesn't currently have.
I-70 in Kansas City isn't a particularly safe roadway. It was built over 50 years ago and has been in use ever since, even though it was only designed to last 20 years. With area growth and a revitalized downtown, the interstate now carries a lot more traffic than it was originally meant to transport every day.
As a result, the pavement and bridges need improvements, and the congestion has led to significant problems for area drivers as weaving and dangerous merging areas contribute to more Kansas City car accidents.
A car accident on I-70 can and does lead to serious and debilitating injuries. In 8 car accidents on I-70 between 2006 and 2010, the crashes were even fatal.
MoDOT is currently seeking public comment and suggestions about the proposed plan. They will hold a series of meetings throughout the month of February which people can also attend to give feedback.