OVERLAND PARK, Kan. —The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is pumping the brakes on plans to create express toll lanes on U.S. 69 Highway.
The 69 Express project will create the first single lane toll road in Kansas. The project will widen the roadway to add an extra lane of traffic in each direction from 151st Street to103rd Street in Overland Park.
The toll lane project will also include the construction of 11 noise walls along U.S. 69 Highway between 119th and 151st Streets and the reconstruction of the 167th Street interchange.
KDOT received two bids that exceeded the estimated total project cost of $430 million.
Officials with KDOT would not disclose how much higher the project bids were, but intend to work the two project teams to modify the request for proposal (RFP) to try to drive down costs. KDOT will not make any changes to the overall scope of the project in the revised RFP.
Uncertainty in fuel, material and labor costs likely contributed to the project bids exceeding the estimated cost. In an effort to transfer some of the inflation risk from contractors, KDOT will allow pricing adjustments based on current market conditions.
“We remain committed to completing U.S. 69 as promised,” KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz said. “DOTs and contractors nationwide are having to navigate an unprecedented amount of uncertainty due to inflation. We’re taking additional steps to ensure we’re delivering this project as cost-effectively as possible for taxpayers while also minimizing the impact on the schedule to complete this much-needed project.”
Construction on the project was expected to break ground later this year. While its unclear how much this will impact the overall project timeline, KDOT is still anticipating the toll lane project to be complete by 2025.