KDOT to close Lewis and Clark Viaduct for 2 years - KCTV5

KDOT to close Lewis and Clark Viaduct for 2 years

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Parts of the viaduct are over 100 years old, dating back to 1907. (KCTV5) Parts of the viaduct are over 100 years old, dating back to 1907. (KCTV5)
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

People who use the Lewis and Clark Viaduct to get through downtown Kansas City may soon need to change their driving habits.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is planning a two-year overhaul of the viaduct. They say repair costs keep rising, prompting the major project.

Parts of the viaduct are over 100 years old, dating back to 1907.

Temporary closures to install traffic control equipment will begin Friday at 10 p.m. as westbound Interstate 70 will be closed from past Admiral Boulevard in Kansas City, MO, to Third Street in Kansas City, KS. The closure will include all ramps on or off the interstate between the two points.

The permanent closure will begin on Sunday and is not expected to reopen until Dec. 31, 2019.

KDOT will close westbound I-70 past Broadway Boulevard in Kansas City, MO, to Third Street. Ramps from Broadway, Beardsley Road and Interstate 35 to I-70 will be closed during the closure. Ramps from I-70 westbound to Minnesota Avenue and Fairfax Trafficway will also be closed.

After the weekend traffic control measures are complete, Broadway and I-35 southbound will be accessible from I-70 westbound throughout the duration of the project.

The project has been in the planning stages since 2011.

Beginning with a concept study, it evaluated the nine bridges associated with the viaduct. The study found that the I-70 east and westbound lanes have structural issues and need to be replaced.

Those looking to get around the closures have a variety of options.

The main detour route will take I-35 northbound to Interstate 670 westbound. A secondary route will use I-35 southbound to the 27th Street exit. 

To detour into KCK drivers can use the Central Avenue exit from I-670 westbound. A second lane will be added to the Third and James Street exit ramp from I-70 and temporary signals will be added to both intersections.

Demolition of the viaduct is expected to begin in March, with construction following soon after.

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