KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Interstate traffic is headed for big changes this weekend in Kansas City.
Beginning at 2 a.m. Saturday, the Missouri Department of Transportation will close Interstate 70 in both directions while the Blue Ridge Boulevard Bridge is demolished. Drivers will be required to find alternate routes.
A MoDOT spokesperson said the old bridge, which was built in 1962, has reached the end of its 50-year lifespan. The project to replace it will run until sometime in November.
Workers at “mom and pop” shops off Blue Ridge Boulevard complain traffic is already confusing in that area, especially since the bridge closed Wednesday.
“It’s a lot of chaos over there. It’s just a small area, but everybody’s trying to get to where they need to go,” Mariah Berry, a barber at Solewtion Barber Shop, said.
“If somebody was trying to get to their appointment on time, they’re just backed up. They need an extra 5-10 minutes to get to their appointment on time.”
The interstate will reopen in that area at 5 a.m. Monday in time for rush hour.
MoDOT suggests using these alternate routes:
- Eastbound — I-435 south to I-470 east to reconnect with I-70.
- Westbound — I-470 south to 435 north
- U.S. Highway 40 is also an option, but it may take longer.
“You’ll see a detour and just follow all of our signage and digital message boards. It should be pretty seamless,” Jill Bruss, a Kansas City area engineer with MoDOT, said Friday.
Bruss and a team of workers already have heavy equipment on standby, and they’re preparing to work in the early morning hours. Bruss said that’s to avoid interfering with Royals baseball traffic from Kauffman Stadium.
“It’s just time. The original design didn’t account for the amount of traffic we have today, and it’s going to keep increasing,” Bruss said.
The Royals are hosting the annual Big Slick Charity Softball Game on Friday evening before a home game against the Colorado Rockies.
A statement from the team includes this excerpt:
“While we understand the project will be inconvenient for our fans, we understand the need for repairs. Fans traveling to Kauffman Stadium this weekend should allow for extra time and follow detour signs.”