Turner Diagonal interchange groundbreaking to be Jan. 31

Proposed Turner Diagonal interchange.

The $30 million Turner Diagonal Interchange Project will move forward with a groundbreaking on Jan. 31, according to Unified Government officials.

The 50-acre project near I-70 and 72nd Street is expected to be completed in November 2020, a UG spokesman stated in a news release.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Turner Diagonal Interchange Project is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at the I-70 westbound truck staging area near I-70 and the Turner Diagonal in Kansas City, Kansas. The ceremony location is on I-70 near 72nd Street.

If there is inclement weather or if temperatures are below 40 degrees, the groundbreaking will be at the West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N. 82nd St., Kansas City, Kansas.

Guest speakers at the event will include Gov. Laura Kelly; Mayor David Alvey; Sean Poole, U.S. Department of Transportation director of intergovernmental affairs; and Brent Miles, chief marketing officer and founding partner of NorthPoint Development.

According to UG officials, $13.8 million of the total project cost of $30 million will come from a U.S. Department of Transportation BUILD grant that the UG received in 2018. The rest of the costs will come from a combination of UG, Kansas Department of Transportation and Northpoint Development funding, according to officials.

The 50-acre project using Kansas Turnpike Authority and KDOT right-of-way will open up 300 acres of land for economic development and job creation, according to UG information.

Clarkson Construction Co. is the design-build contractor.

According to the UG, the Turner Diagonal interchange is within a two-day drive from 85 percent of the U.S. population. The location serves 65,000 vehicles a day, 25 percent of which are truck, and is very close to other major highways.

The current design of the Turner Diagonal interchange no longer meets the needs of the community and surrounding area, a spokesman stated in a news release. The UG joined with KDOT, KTA and NorthPoint Development to develop a solution to address infrastructure and transportation needs in a new vision for the Turner Diagonal corridor, the spokesman stated.

The existing interchange will be reconfigured to a diverging diamond interchange, allowing the release of KTA and KDOT right-of-way and opening 300 acres of land for economic development and job creation, according to the spokesman.

The new interchange is designed to provide better access to businesses along the Turner Diagonal, improve safety and allow traffic to move efficiently through the corridor, the spokesman stated.

A $155 million industrial development is being planned along the Turner Diagonal.

The project also adds a shared-use path and sidewalk from Riverview Avenue through the new diverging diamond interchange, connecting to existing sidewalks at State Avenue.

The project also will address freight parking at the truck staging facilities west of the interchange.

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