Lane closures along I-435 in Johnson County cause major headaches during rush hours

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Road construction that has tied up traffic for two years along Interstate 435 hit a new snag Monday. The four-lane highway was reduced to one lane.

In order to finish up the reconstruction project that has been going on since May 2017, it was necessary to put traffic from Quivira to Metcalf into one lane. That way, in the closed lanes, crews could remove the temporary stripes and put down permanent pavement markings.

"Just bear with us. We know you are frustrated. We understand that this is difficult, and we are trying as well as we can,” KDOT engineer Kevin Kellerman said.

Interstate 435 is one of the busiest freeways in the metro that loops all the way around Kansas City. The fact that the four-lane interstate was down to one lane at a highly traveled stretch of road put folks like Janet and Ace Phillips way behind Monday morning.

“We left in plenty of time, but when we got to 435, it was terrible. It was already blocked. We couldn’t get on,” Janet Phillips said.

She and her husband were on their way into Kansas City for a doctor’s appointment.

“My phone kept routing us different directions, like don’t go here, go there,” Phillips said. “It took an hour, and it should have taken, the GPS said, 35 minutes.”

Usually work that causes a significant lane reduction is done on the weekends when traffic is lighter. With the snowfall and threat of snow, KDOT was forced to do the work during the week.

“We had sunshine these... today, tomorrow, Wednesday. We really think we can get it done in these next days,” Kellerman said. “It will be back to semi-normal for Thanksgiving when people are out visiting family. That was one of our main goals to get that done.”

The two-year I-435 reconstruction project should be completed by the end of November.