KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's the end of a huge headache for some commuters. All lanes going in and out of downtown are expected to re-open in time for Tuesday evening's rush hour.
The $30-million reconstruction of the I-35 bridge near downtown has been going on for most of the year. Thanks to a couple of above freezing days, all the lanes on I-35 are set to fully reopen for travel.
This is the largest bridge in the Missouri Department of Transportation's Kansas City district, and originally engineers were told it would take two years to replace. MoDOT said it couldn't shut down such a major route for that long, so contractors have been working seven days a week in two 10-hour shifts to get this project finished before winter.
A recent cold snap slowed work down, but patient commuters will be rewarded beginning Tuesday.
"It's over 100,000 commuters a day that have been really struggled and suffered and have been extremely patient with $30-million worth of work on that one piece of road," said Brian Kidwell, MoDOT's Assistant District Engineer in charge of the project.
This is the biggest of many construction projects taking place in and around the routes to downtown. Workers recently completed the 12th Street bridge rehab. Kidwell also said the Admiral Street bridge should be finished by the end of the week.
Some commuters claim the construction added 20 to 30 minutes to their travel times on busy days. They're rejoicing to have all the highway back in service. Ramp signals are likely to remain in place for a while to regulate traffic getting on the highway.