Politics · October 28, 2020 0

Kansas Governor Kelly Attends Turner Diagonal Interchange Ceremony

Topeka, KS (STL.News) Governor Laura Kelly joined national, state, and local officials to celebrate the completion of the Turner Diagonal Interchange project in Wyandotte County today.

“I’m honored to celebrate the completion of the Turner Diagonal interchange, a project that represents both immediate improvements for Kansans and long-term economic growth,” said Governor Kelly.  “This new interchange will open nearly 300 acres of land for private development, and we anticipate the creation of over 2,500 jobs in the immediate area.”

At today’s event, speakers included Governor Laura Kelly, Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) Secretary and Director of the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) Julie Lorenz, and U.S. Representative Sharice Davids.  The event also included a video with remarks from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine Chao, Unified Government of Wyandotte County Mayor David Alvey, and NorthPoint Development Chief Marketing Officer Brent Miles.

“By utilizing a design-build approach, this project was completed 20 months faster than it would have been using traditional methods,” said Secretary Lorenz.  “Thanks to partnerships among the private sector and all levels of government, we were able to deliver a great project in record time, which will improve safety, generate economic growth and provide more transportation options for Kansans.”

The Turner Diagonal Project was awarded a federal BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grant for $13 million, which makes up 46 percent of the project funding.  The remainder of the project costs were funded by commitments from the Unified Government, KDOT, and NorthPoint Development.

“The Turner Diagonal Interchange sits at the crossroads of the country.  It provides better access to businesses and allows freight traffic to move more efficiently and safely through the corridor – and on to the rest of America,” Rep. Sharice Davids said.  “We’ve already seen it draw good-paying jobs to the area and it will continue to benefit Wyandotte County and the surrounding communities.”

The Turner Diagonal Interchange sits about a two days drive from 85 percent of the U.S. population.  This location services 65,000 vehicles per day, 25 percent of which are trucks, and is very close to other major highways.  The new design of the Turner Diagonal Interchange will now meet the community’s needs and the surrounding area.

The existing interchange has been reconfigured to a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), allowing the release of KTA and KDOT right-of-way and opening up 300 acres of land for economic development and job creation.  The new interchange provides better access to businesses along Turner Diagonal, improves safety, and allows traffic to move efficiently through the corridor.  The project added a new shared-use-path and sidewalk from Riverview Avenue through the new DDI and connects to existing sidewalks at State Avenue.  The project also addressed freight parking at the truck staging facilities west of the interchange.

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