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Olathe awarded $10 million BUILD Grant from the USDOT

Post Date:11/07/2019 9:56 AM

The City of Olathe has been awarded a $10 million BUILD Transportation Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to assist with funding the I-35 and 119th St. interchange expansion and improvement project. Construction is expected to begin in 2021.

The project will significantly improve safety, congestion, and travel times by constructing a diverging diamond interchange (DDI), intersection improvements adjacent to the interchange, added travel lanes on 119th St., and additional turn lanes on I-35 exit ramps. “We hear from our residents about their traffic and safety concerns surrounding the I-35 and 119th St. interchange. We have committed to improving the interchange to cut down on accident rates and improve traffic flow for current and future development,” said Olathe Public Works Director Mary Jaeger. “We are thrilled to receive this funding that will make our dream a reality.”

This project will address issues needed to meet existing and future traffic needs. Due to rapid growth in the area, this interchange is routinely saturated with vehicles backing up onto I-35, especially during peak morning and afternoon periods. The crash rate is 11 times the national average for comparable interchanges. The City and the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) selected the diverging diamond interchange (DDI) as the most effective solution through extensive study, public engagement, and design processes. Goals of the DDI and related improvements include:

  • Enhancing safety by reducing conflict points
  • Increasing traffic capacity by improving turn movements to and from I-35
  • Minimizing impacts to businesses in the area during construction
  • Keeping construction costs low

To receive crucial federal funding for this project, the City partnered with KDOT in addition to U.S. Representative Sharice Davids, and U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts.

"We're incredibly grateful to our Congressional delegation, especially Senator Jerry Moran, for working on our behalf,” said Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland. “Traffic is our citizens' priority, and this project will make a major difference for that area of Johnson County. This project will not only address congestion for Olathe drivers, it will help traffic on I-35 and lead to continued economic growth and job creation for the region.”

Sources and uses of funding for the Project's $25.4 million capital costs include survey, design, environmental analysis, land acquisition, utilities, construction, inspection and testing, and other project management staff costs. The City will use local revenue sources to pay for 41 percent of the project, (in addition to the City's previous $3 million investment in years 2016-2019 for planning and design activities). KDOT and the BUILD Grant will fund the remainder.

BUILD Transportation Grants are awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. Visit Transportation.gov/BUILDgrants for additional information regarding the application and selection process.
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