LENEXA, Kan. -- After two and a half years of orange cones, closed lanes and overall inconvenience, the Johnson County Gateway Project is finally finished.
To celebrate the opening, KDOT will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon by the newly redesigned 95th Street Interchange, which was a big part of this project.
Individuals who drive through the new I-35/435 interchange, will notice that all the flyover ramps are two lanes instead of one. They will also notice that the new roads make it easier to get on and off of K-10 from the interstate.
The project took two and a half years ago to complete, and crews worked 24/7 to get it done.
It’s Kansas' first ever design-build project, which means instead of planning the entire project at the beginning, they broke it down into phases.
As crews worked on one phase, they designed the second phase, making adjustments based on what they discovered would work best for the interchange.
"To do a design build project with over 200,000 plus commuters each and every day for over two and a half years, I think is a great testament that the design build can work, that it can come in on time" KDOT spokesperson Kimberly Qualls said.
At a cost of $288-million, this was the most expensive road project in Kansas history.
Driver's hated it whenever they closed a road or ramp and had to go out of their way to get to their destination, but officials say there were lots of challenges reconstructing such a busy interchange.
Road crews still have a couple more things to do over the next few days, but most of the cones should be gone by the end of the week making it a smoother ride for the 230,000 vehicles that drive through this interchange every day.
"I'm hoping once they drive through it the first time after its open, they go, 'wow, that was worth it,'" Qualls said. "That was worth the two and a half years of delays and frustrations, and this moves so much smoother."