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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Drivers heading out of the Northland will have a more complicated morning commute in the near future.

Crews will close a portion of U.S. 169 southbound for more than a year. The highway will be closed from the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport to E. 5th Street in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The project will begin on February 6 and isn’t expected to open until the fall of 2024. This is part of the Buck O’Neil Bridge project.

MoDOT said this project will allow crews to tie the new southbound bridge into the new flyover ramps to Interstate 35. Traffic control for this work will require various lane closures beginning overnight on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Drivers can expect southbound U.S. 169 to be closed no later than rush hour on Monday morning, Feb. 6.

Northbound U.S. 169 will remain open to traffic during this time. Southbound traffic will be detoured to I-29/I-35.

Beginning in March, the ramp from westbound I-70 to southbound I-35 and the ramp from 5th Street to southbound I-35 will be closed until December.

The new bridge is expected to to open in December of 2024.