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I-70 Topeka Polk-Quincy Viaduct changes.

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I would actually agree that it's feasible to just demolish I-70 through Topeka and send it over 470.  It's a convoluted path through the city with goofy curves and ugly bridges.  And Topeka isn't a big enough city to warrant a freeway through the heart of the it.

The fun part comes in thinking up a better way to do the South Topeka interchange in this scenario.  One would want a much smoother transition for I-70 from freeway to turnpike.  I was recently panning around the area thinking up what it might look like if it was built like that originally, with I-70 going around rather than punching the core. (I'm thinking there'd be no freeway west of downtown and a spur poking in from the east.)

This being Kansas, though, there's no way they're not going to simply replace the elevated structure as-is.  They don't have the balls to try anything else.

J N Winkler:
I don't think getting rid of I-70 in west Topeka would work.  This segment is actually pretty busy, to the extent it has been widened to (almost) three lanes divided by adding a lane at every entry that is dropped at the next exit.  It actually carries more traffic than the segment between downtown and the East Topeka Interchange.

I'd remove it from Downtown Topeka and get rid of the death curve in KCK.

Photos of the new configuration of the Polk-Quincy:

Warning sign westbound on the Turnpike approaching East Topeka.

New sign for Adams on the California Avenue bridge.

New lane markings between California Avenue and Adams Street.

New exit sign for Adams.

Approaching the 45 MPH curve.

The new barriers on the Polk-Quincy Viaduct.

The right lane picks up at the west end of the Polk-Quincy Viaduct.

They had an open house yesterday for this project:

Meeting materials are at the bottom of the page. Presentation slides and FAQ's.

Project tentatively scheduled to start in early 2025 and scheduled to go until Fall 2027.

EDIT: There's also an East Project (KA-1266-05) that hasn't been funded yet and is not in the IKE program. Diagram of that project is shown on page 2 of this pdf.


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