OVERLAND PARK – Governor Laura Kelly was joined today by Federal Highway Administrator (FHWA) Shailen Bhatt, Representative Sharice Davids of the Kansas 3rd District, and other state and local representatives to break ground on 69Express, the state’s first express toll lane project.
Traffic on U.S. 69 is expected to increase 450% by 2050. The Kansas Department of Transportation’s 69Express project will proactively reduce congestion by widening U.S. 69 from just south of 151st Street to just north of 103rd Street in Overland Park. Interchanges that connect U.S. 69 to the local street network will be modified. The project also includes the completion of a new interchange at 167th Street.
“69Express will ensure that commuters can travel quickly and safely to their destinations and move freight efficiently throughout the state, further cementing Kansas as critical to interstate commerce,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This is a smart investment for our state, and I’m so glad we’re finally moving dirt and getting this done.”
This project is funded in part through the bipartisan infrastructure law (BIL) passed in 2022.
“We’re proud to support the Kansas Department of Transportation and its partners in investing to make one of the state’s busiest travel corridors safer for all users – whether they are moving freight or trying to get to work on time,” FHWA Shailen Bhatt said. “This project will improve safe travel and accommodate the growth needs of strong local economies throughout the entire Kansas City region.”
“Modernizing U.S. 69 has been a priority since my predecessor’s predecessor was in Congress, so it’s a true honor to stand beside Governor Kelly and our local leaders and break ground on this project,” Representative Davids said. “I’m proud to have voted to bring federal funding to this project and will continue partnering with state and local officials to ensure this is a success for our community.”
Pre-construction work is underway, with construction slated to begin in the spring of 2023. The express lanes are scheduled to open by the end of 2025.
The 69Express project will add two new lanes to U.S. 69 – one northbound and one southbound. The new lanes will be tolled using dynamic pricing, which manages congestion by maintaining a free flow of traffic in the express lanes and reducing traffic in the two non-tolled lanes.
“KDOT and the Kansas Turnpike Authority are excited to get this first-of-its-kind project for Kansas underway,” Acting Secretary of Transportation Reed said. “69Express will help manage congestion and keep traffic moving in all directions well into the future.”
The event was held at the Blue Valley Hilltop Conference Center on 143rd Street and just east U.S. 69. Acting Transportation Secretary Calvin Reed; Overland Park Mayor Curt Skoog; former Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz; Design-Build Team Representative Tim Paulson, Emery Sapp & Sons Construction; and Overland Park Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tracey Osborne Oltjen also spoke.
For more information on the 69Express project or to sign up to receive text alerts on travel impacts, visit www.69express.org. Project updates are available regularly on the webpage’s Featured News link or by following the project’s Facebook and Twitter pages and subscribing to the Project newsletter.