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Community braces for road closures in Johnson County

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. -- Drivers in Johnson County are getting ready for some traffic headaches. In just a few days, crews will close the 95th Street interchange at Interstate 35.

As part of the $288 million Johnson County Gateway Project, that area is scheduled to be under construction for 6 months.

"Oh my God, my husband and I were just talking about that. We are already talking about what other routes we'll have to take," said Kerri Younggren, of Lenexa.  She and scores of other frequent Oak Park Mall shoppers are dreading the looming shutdown of the ever so popular 95th Street I-35 Interchange.

"Yeah, it's going to be crazy trying to get around. I am just dreading it because I take 95th a lot and I'm from western Lenexa and it's just an easy route for me," added Younggren.

Organizers said the multi-million dollar road construction will turn the existing diamond interchange into a new and better one for the hundreds of thousands of drivers who use it every day.

"So, I don't know for sure, but we'll likely go 87th Street to cut across Quivira Road, " Younggren said.

In addition to that alternate route, organizers recommend that drivers take I-435 to Quivira and US 69 Highway to 95th street.

While  many businesses may also feel the impact of the interchange makeover, at the Kansas Sampler near Oak Park Mall, the manager isn't sweating the shutdown.

"We have lots of products for all kinds of sports fans to find their Royals and KU stuff so if people really want their products, they'll always find alternate routes to get here," Chelse Pletke said.

Again, the popular interchange is scheduled to close at 10 p.m. Sunday and if all goes according to plan, it will re-open in mid August.

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