Study Overview

235 map

Project Study Area

A portion of I-235 is getting a fresh examination. The Kansas Department of Transportation, in partnership with the city of Wichita, Sedgwick County, and the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, has begun a new study of the I-235 corridor from the US-54/400 (Kellogg) interchange north to the Central Avenue interchange.

KDOT has contracted with the engineering firm, TranSystems, to conduct the study. The study will address high levels of traffic weaving at the Kellogg and Central interchanges and congestion on I-235. It will also look at conditions along Kellogg and Central near I-235. The study will identify alternative improvement concepts, cost estimates, and a phasing plan for short and long-term improvements. Recommendations could include new infrastructure and changes to the existing infrastructure along I-235, Kellogg, and Central.

An interchange at I-235 and Maple is not being considered because of its proximity to the I-235/Kellogg interchange and it could worsen the existing congestion and traffic weaving.

The Study

The goals of the study include developing cost-effective solutions and plans for the future, while providing opportunities for the public to learn about and participate in the study process. The study will also include examinations of:

  • How the I-235 corridor relates to regional land use and economic development
  • Traffic conditions and forecasts
  • Safety conditions and data
  • Environmental conditions
  • Previous studies

 

Schedule

The 18-month study will include both interchanges and will identify ways to improve the driving experience along I-235. I-235 was built in 1957 and traffic volumes are growing at more than 3 percent per year. The average daily traffic volume in the study corridor was 35,000 in 1995 and grew to more than 50,000 in 2004.

schedule

 

 

Study FAQ's

Q: Are you looking at Maple Street Access?

A: No. KDOT considered a new interchange on I-235 at Maple in 1999 during a previous study. At that time, KDOT concluded that there were serious safety and operational problems with adding a new interchange at this location. Since 1999, safety and operational conditions have worsened. We believe the decision to not add a new interchange at Maple was correct then and is even more correct now.

Q: What kind of improvements do you expect to do?

A: Due to safety and operational concerns, the two existing interchanges clearly need geometric improvements. However, we won't know what improvements to make until the study is finished. The study will be used to determine what can be done in the near future and what needs to be by 2030. Also, we will consider "improvements" not only to the two state highways, but also to the associated local roads if such improvements will improve the system. As of March 2006, we have $14 million dollars to spend and the cost of improving the two interchanges will cost a minimum of $100 million dollars. Reconstructing the interchanges is not in our current Comprehensive Transportation Program (CTP) that ends in 2009. We will also consider how technology might help us better manage traffic.

Q: Is widening I-235 included?

A: While the intent of this study is to determine what to do, Congress has provided KDOT and Wichita with some funds to widen I-235 between US 54/400 (Kellogg Ave.) and Central. We anticipate this study will help us determine in part how best to do that.

Q: What did the previous study conclude?

A: A) Reconstructing the I-235 & US 54/400 (Kellogg Ave.) interchange will cost at least $100 million. B) The Central Ave. interchange should be considered at the same time as the US 54/400 (Kellogg Ave.) interchange.

Q: How much could these improvements cost?

A: The previous study indicated that reconstruction of the US 54/400 (Kellogg Ave.) interchange could exceed $100 million. This study will include updated cost estimates for whatever projects are recommended.

Q: What can be done right away?

A: This study will help us determine what could be done in the near future. It will also help identify other improvements that might be feasible to help address the problems until funding is available for long-term improvements.

Q: Why has it taken so long to fix this obvious problem?

A: The scale of the problem is such that paying for the solution is likely to be very expensive. Until recently, there haven't been any monies committed to the project. Congress has provided $14 million to begin work on the solution.

Q: Are you looking at any Wichita-Valley Center Floodway crossings?

A: While it will be necessary to examine the impacts of additional Wichita-Valley Center Floodway crossings on the Central and Kellogg interchanges, this is not the focus of the study. The study will not try to identify additional crossing locations.

 

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

This portion of the project involves engaging the public in the study process to provide information and obtain input. Meetings/workshops, surveys, and a website with a comment feature provide opportunities for the community, constituent groups, and local government agencies to participate and shape the study process. As meetings occur, the information provided from each meeting will be accessible in the Meeting Materials section below.

Meeting Materials

Meetings Types

Public Meetings

Public meetings are planned to disseminate information and provide input by encouraging broader community participation. Three public meetings are planned throughout the study process.

Community Advisory Committee Meetings (CAC)

The CAC is a committee of citizen volunteers that will provide advice and feedback to the project. The CAC is comprised of neighborhood leaders, business leaders, property owners and residents of the study area. Five CAC meetings are scheduled during the study.

District Advisory Board (DAB) Meetings

The study will use the DAB's (4, 5 and 6) created by the city of Wichita to provide an opportunity for participation regarding community issues and projects. The DAB meetings will be the primary method to introduce the study to the community and will assist in sponsoring the public meetings during the study.

 

Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WAMPO)

WAMPO is the policy-making body for transportation planning in the Greater Wichita area. Their participation is important because the study relates to the greater metropolitan transportation network. Three WAMPO meetings are scheduled throughout the study process.

En Banc Meetings

The En Banc meetings will be used to provide information and receive feedback from the elected officials of Wichita and Sedgwick County. Three En Banc meetings are scheduled throughout the study process.

As the study progresses please refer to the "News" section on the left of the webpage for future meeting announcements. The schedule below provides a general timeframe for future meetings for the groups listed above.

District Advisory Board, Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, and En Banc meetings were held at the beginning of the process to introduce the public, regional transportation officials, and City and County elected officials to the project. Additional meetings with the Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and elected officials will be held throughout the process to provide periodic updates. The public will continue to participate in the process through the public meetings, sponsored by the District Advisory Boards.