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Major portion of Interstate 70 closes beginning June 8

Get ready for freeway Armageddon in eastern Jackson County. Missouri transportation officials are closing a major stretch of Interstate 70, in both directions, in the Kansas City metro area and the move will have a major impact on traffic as far away as Johnson County, Kan. as drivers are diverted around the city with detours.

The Missouri Department of Transportation has announced it will have a complete closure of Interstate 70 in both directions between I-435 and I-470/Route 291 beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, June 8, until approximately 5 a.m. on Monday, June 11. This closure is for the demolition of the Pittman Road, Crysler Avenue, and Phelps Road bridges over I-70. These bridges will be demolished and rebuilt with an anticipated completion date of December 2018.

The I-70 stretch through Jackson County is one of the most travelled in the metro.

This work will have major impacts to interstate traffic the department states and encourages drivers to plan ahead. Motorists MUST follow the signed detour using I-470 and/or I-435, or find an alternate route. All work is weather permitting.

The detours will dramatically increase traffic on 470, 435 and I-35. Drivers are encouraged to be extra vigilant concerning semis and camper trailers who will be on freeways that may be unfamiliar to their drivers. In addition, I-470 in Lee’s Summit continues to be reduced westbound from three to two lanes which will cause additional delays.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Eastbound I-70 will be reduced to one lane from Manchester Trafficway to Blue Ridge Cutoff. Any traffic that does not follow the detour onto southbound I-435 will be moved off at Blue Ridge Cutoff.
  • Westbound I-70 will be reduced to one lane before the Route 291/I-470 interchange. All traffic will be routed onto southbound Route 291/I-470.
  • Southbound Route 291 just north of I-70 will be reduced to one lane to accommodate merging traffic from westbound I-70.
  • Eastbound I-70 ramp closures include:
    • Manchester Trafficway to eastbound I-70.
    • Northbound and southbound I-435 ramps to eastbound I-70.
    • Blue Ridge Cutoff ramp to eastbound I-70.
    • Highway 40 ramp to eastbound I-70.
    • Blue Ridge Blvd. Ramp to eastbound I-70.
    • Noland Road ramp to eastbound I-70.
  • Westbound I-70 ramp closures include:
    • Northbound and southbound I-470/Route 291 ramps to westbound I-70.
    • Lee’s Summit Road ramp to westbound I-70.
    • Noland Road ramp to westbound I-70.
    • Highway 40 ramp to westbound I-70.

Please be patient and considerate to your fellow motorists. Use the zipper merge and take turns at the merge point.  Please remember that all work zones are NO PHONE ZONES. Buckle up. Phone down. Arrive Alive.

Motorists are reminded to slow down and pay attention while driving in work zones. Not all work zones look alike. Work zones can be moving operations, such as striping, patching or mowing. They can also be short term, temporary lane closures to make quick repairs or remove debris from the roadway.

MoDOT Kansas City maintains more than 7,000 miles of state roadway in nine counties. You can up for online for work zone updates.

–By Dwight Widaman