Bridge repair project to begin on I-70 in Topeka

On Thursday, May 22, a repair project will begin on eastbound and westbound I-70 Polk-Quincy Viaduct and 3rd Street and 4th Street bridges in downtown Topeka (Shawnee County). Project work includes full and partial depth patching and overlay work on the bridge decks, expansion joint replacement and bridge pier repairs. Work will take place during daylight hours, Monday through Friday.

Crews will first set traffic control, remove median barrier and construct two crossovers in the median area, one near 1st street (west end of project) and the other near 10th Street (east end of project). At 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 27, eastbound and westbound I-70 will be reduced to one lane each direction, 24/7 round the clock, throughout the project duration. Eastbound I-70 traffic will be reduced to one lane from just west of the 1st Street exit ramp to the 4th Street entrance ramp. Westbound I-70 traffic will be reduced to one lane from just east of the Indiana Avenue Bridge to just west of the 1st Street exit ramp. See project map area below.

At 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 27, the westbound I-70 to 4th Street exit ramp will be closed to all traffic throughout the project duration. Advance message boards will direct traffic to use the 8th Street exit ramp during the 4th Street ramp closure.

At 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 28, the 2nd Street to westbound I-70 entrance ramp (Hallmark ramp) will be closed to all traffic throughout the project duration. A marked detour will be provided via Madison Street north to 1st Street then west on 1st Street to the westbound I-70 entrance ramp just west of Topeka Boulevard.

In mid-June, once the median crossover construction is completed, eastbound and westbound I-70 traffic will then be placed side by side with one lane in each direction on the eastbound lanes as work is completed on the westbound lanes, then traffic will be shifted to the westbound lanes so work can be completed on the eastbound lanes.

At a later phase in the repair project, the eastbound I-70 to 3rd Street exit ramp will be closed to traffic. Advance separate notification will be issued for this ramp closure.  

Advance message boards will alert traffic to the lane and ramp closures. Traffic will be directed through the project work zone via delineators and signage. There will be a 50 mph posted speed limit and a 14-foot lane width restriction through the project work zone throughout the project duration.

Updated traffic information for this project and the entire Topeka/Lawrence Metro Area can be viewed online: www.ksdot.org/topekametro/laneclose.asp.

Drivers should expect delays during peak time commutes and should allow extra time for their daily commutes. Downtown Topeka commuters may want to use alternate routes via the local street network throughout the project duration. Suggested alternate signed routes for I-70 through traffic in the Topeka area are as follows: 1) I-470 southbound/eastbound to the Kansas Turnpike; or 2) U.S. 75 northbound to U.S. 24 eastbound to K-4 southbound to I-70/KTA.

The Kansas Department of Transportation urges all motorists to be alert, obey the warning signs, and “Give ‘Em a Brake!” when approaching and driving through the project work zone.

R.A. Knapp Construction, Inc. (Kansas City, KS) is the primary contractor on this bridge repair project with a total contract cost of $3.94 million. Overlay work on the bridge decks may be moved to Spring 2015, weather dependent. The overall bridge repair project is scheduled to be completed in December 2014, weather permitting.

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