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KDOT Prefers Eastern Alternate for US-59

Aug. 1, 2001 (Release 01-096)


News Contact: Kim Stich, (785) 296-3585

New interchange will benefit northeast Kansas

The new East Topeka Interchange project, after almost six years and more than $90 million, was open to traffic on Aug. 1. The opening was ahead of schedule and the project was under budget. The KTA, KDOT, the City of Topeka and Shawnee County joined together to fund one of the single largest transportation investments in our states history.

"This interchange is an excellent example of four organizations working together to provide a safer, more efficient transportation system for all motorists," said Secretary of Transportation E. Dean Carlson. "Whether you live in Topeka or are traveling through the area, motorists for years to come will reap the benefits of this new interchange."

"This project will be a living testament to multijurisdictional cooperation and achievement. The economic future of Topeka and northeast Kansas will be enhanced by this investment," said Michael L. Johnston, Kansas Turnpike Authority President/CEO.

The new interchange will:

  • Connect the Oakland Expressway to I-70 and the Kansas Turnpike;
  • Improve the I-70 alignment in east Topeka;
  • Include a folded diamond interchange at Rice Road/I-70 with roundabouts at the ramp terminals as well as a folded diamond interchange at U.S. 40/K-4;
  • Feature two new toll plaza facilities that have commuter parking areas and K-tag lanes.

"The project is the epitome of intergovernmental cooperation," said Topeka Mayor Butch Felker. "It will be the catalyst for many economic development projects in Topeka."

The project will have many advantages for people in Topeka and throughout northeast Kansas with:

  • Improved traffic flow in the area;
  • Reduced travel time;
  • Decreased congestion;
  • Local residents having improved access to the major corridors;
  • Improved access to east Topeka through Rice Road interchange to Croco Road;
  • Economic development possibilities.

"The citizens of Shawnee County are excited about the completion of the East Topeka Interchange," said Shawnee County Commission Chairman Vic Miller. "This project represents the best in intergovernmental cooperation and opens doors to development in a long neglected part of our community."

While the roadway is open to traffic, work on removing the existing KTA toll plaza and constructing the ramp and connections to the Rice Road/I-70 roundabouts will not be finished until late this fall. In addition, landscaping and seeding as well as work on other areas off the roadway will continue until late 2002.

The Hamm Companies of Perry is the prime contractor on the interchange project.

This page last updated 08/29/01