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Governor Kelly, state lawmakers greenlight express toll lane plans

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (WIBW) – Government officials and state leaders have greenlit what will soon be Kansas’ first express toll lane project.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s office announced the official grand opening celebration of 69express. The Governor’s office projects that traffic on US 69 will increase 450 percent by 2050.

To proactively reduce expected future traffic congestion, the Kansas Department of Transportation has decided to widen US 69 in Overland Park from the south side of 151st St. to the north side of 103rd St. by adding two new lanes: one in northbound and one southbound.

The project will include changing interchanges connected to US 69 and a new interchange at 167th St. Governor Kelly’s office said the project will be funded in part through an infrastructure bill passed in 2022.

“69Express will ensure that commuters can travel quickly and safely to their destinations and move goods efficiently across the state, further solidifying Kansas as a key to interstate commerce,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This is a smart investment for our state, and I’m so glad we’re finally moving the dirt and getting this done.”

At the inaugural ceremony, Governor Kelly was joined by Federal Highways Administrator Shailen Bhatt, Third District Representative Sharice Davids, along with other state and local representatives.

“We are proud to support the Kansas Department of Transportation and its partners in investments to make one of the busiest travel corridors in the state safer for all users, whether they are moving cargo or trying to get to work on time,” he said. stated Shailen Bhatt. “This project will improve safe travel and meet the growing needs of strong local economies throughout the Kansas City region.”

“Modernizing US 69 has been a priority since my predecessor’s predecessor was in Congress, so it’s a real honor to stand beside Governor Kelly and our local leaders and lead the way on this project,” said Rep. Davids. “I am proud to have voted to bring federal funding to this project and will continue to work with state and local officials to ensure this is a success for our community.”

Construction was scheduled to begin in spring 2023, and the express lanes were expected to open in late 2025.

“KDOT and the Kansas Turnpike Authority are excited to kick off this first-of-its-kind project for Kansas,” said Acting Secretary of Transportation Reed. “69Express will help manage congestion and keep traffic flowing in all directions well into the future.”

To find out more about the 69Express project, click HERE.

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