Independence announces traffic plan ahead of Monday’s Whataburger opening

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Independence said it has a plan to ease traffic congestion ahead of Monday’s Whataburger opening. It’s the second location to open in the Kansas City metro.

The restaurant is located on 40 Highway about a block east of I-470, threatening traffic jams on two Missouri highways.

The city and Independence Police Department said it worked with the Missouri Department of Transportation to plan a route that will minimize congestion in the area.

The new traffic plan will be implemented at 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 29. It includes the following detour:

  • Northbound or southbound Whataburger traffic on 291/470 should go on east I-70, exiting south onto Little Blue Pkwy.
  • South on Little Blue Pkwy to 40 Hwy.
  • West on 40 Hwy with two turn lanes designated for Whataburger customers on the right (north) side of the road.
  • Traffic going west on 40 Hwy will not be able to turn left (south) at 40 and Little Blue Pkwy.
  • Traffic going north on Little Blue Pkwy will not be able to turn left (west) at 40 and Little Blue Pkwy.
  • Patrons wishing to visit shops or restaurants along E. Valley View Pkwy, should enter at the north end from the light at E. Valley View Pkwy and Little Blue Pkwy.

Independence said it expected to have this traffic plan in place through Dec. 3, but will reevaluate the traffic demand before returning the area to its normal route.

Whataburger’s first location opened in Lee’s Summit on Nov. 15. It caused traffic delays to businesses in the area and around Saint Luke’s East Hospital.

The Lee’s Summit Police Department rerouted traffic following the restaurant’s opening. It planned to lift that detour earlier this week, but determined traffic was still too heavy and left it in place.

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