Turner Diagonal rebuild promises to make KCK a distribution hub

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A unique public-private partnership is rebuilding the Turner Diagonal, one of the most confusing interchanges in the metro area.

The massive construction project promises to transform Kansas City, Kan., into a distribution and logistics hub.

A federal grant called BUILD, which stands for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, is paying nearly $14 million dollars, almost half the cost of this project.

The U.S. Department of Transportation likes the idea of getting more private investment in public infrastructure. Private money from NorthPoint Development, along with money from the Unified Government and state of Kansas, is funding the rest.

The Turner Diagonal already is home to an Amazon distribution center, which opened in 2018 and employs hundreds of Kansans. By reworking the interchange, the city and developers expect to attract other warehouses and logistics firms, creating about 2,000 new jobs.

“Businesses in particular will make the most of this improved strategic location,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “From where we are standing, you can access most every place in this nation in a two-day drive. This is a prime spot for growing logistics and distribution centers. We must do all we can to take advantage of opportunity.”

Simplifying the interchange will open up 300 acres for development as KCK seeks to attract trucking firms and other freight haulers to a modern hub.

The partnership also is helping speed up the design build process. The new interchange is scheduled to open in November, 18 months sooner than if it were built through traditional processes.

The project includes new pedestrians paths and sidewalks to help make neighborhoods surrounding the industrial area more walkable.

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