Metro businesses worried weekend I-70 shutdown could impact their bottom line

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 7-mile stretch of I-70 is getting shut down this weekend, something that will not only impact drivers but nearby businesses, too.

Owners are worried these road woes could bring a bust to their bottom lines.

"I think it will cause a lot of congestion traffic wise," said Brian DeMoss, owner of Big Boys Burgers on 40 Highway.

That's definitely going to be the case this weekend.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is closing both directions of I-70 between I-435 and I-470/Highway 291. The closure will also include all ramps to and from I-70.

The closure begins at 9 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 6 and continues until 5 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 9.

I-70 will be reduced to one lane in each direction beginning at 7 p.m. Friday night until the full closure at 9 p.m. Ramps to and from the interstate will close at about 8 p.m.

So if your weekend plans take you along I-70 in central Jackson County, make sure you know a detour. MoDOT is encouraging drivers to use I-470 as a route around the roadwork.

MoDOT expects this closure to have major impacts on traffic over the weekend. They’re urging drivers to plan ahead and leave early.

The shutdown will allow crews to demolish the ramps from southbound I-435 to eastbound I-70 and northbound I-435 to westbound I-70.

Those ramps will close early — at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 — and will remain closed until spring 2020.

MoDOT said more than 200,000 drivers use the impacted roads every day.

"We haven`t made any adjustments, but we have talked about possibly sending some people home if it ends up hurting our business," DeMoss said.

DeMoss said Saturdays are usually his busiest day, and he's already anticipating a loss this weekend during the road project.

Other businesses said they're adjusting workers' schedules and even cutting back on operating hours because of the shutdown.

DeMoss just hopes the pain of progress won't punch a hole in his bottom line.

"I think the only concern would be if it continued on more than just the weekend, especially during the week," he said.

Thankfully, this shutdown will wrap up just before Monday morning's rush hour at 5 a.m. But the work at the I-435 interchange will continue on.

It’s all part of MoDOT’s major project to change the interchange configuration to a “partial turbine design.” The new system will get rid of left exits, improve the loop ramps, ease congestion and reduce crashes, MoDOT says.

Although most of the work will focus on the I-435 interchange, MoDOT said crews will also be doing lighting, median, drainage and pavement repairs along the 7-mile stretch of I-70.

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