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Kansas celebrates 50 years of Interstates


Canal Route on I-135

The Canal Route on I-135 in Wichita has been touted as one of the most significant Kansas Interstate projects of the 20th century. When it was constructed, a 2.2-mile portion of the I-135 project was the most costly and technically challenging part on the Kansas Interstate system. Named for the drainage canal it straddles, the Canal Route construction began in 1971.

The seven-mile project was completed eight years later at a cost of $32 million. This six-lane highway has three interchanges, a crossover bridge, and four pedestrian bridges. The Canal Route, which carries an average of 92,500 vehicles a day, channels traffic through the core of Wichita (the state's largest city) and links with three other major freeway and highway routes. The Canal Route is vital to motorists in Wichita and south central Kansas as it links with three other highway and freeway routes as well as I-35 and the I-235 bypass.