Public Meeting on Monday
A public meeting for the I-235/13th Street improvements is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday at Sedgwick County Extension Center, 7001 West 21st Street N. The meeting will be held in the 4H Room.
The meeting will offer information on the location of the improvements and the impact of the project, including those to the Sedgwick County Park Property on 13th Street. Attendees can review information and speak project team members.
“The 13th Street Flyover provides a vital connection to west Wichita and will help relieve congestion along I-235,” Vice Mayor and District V Council Member Jeff Longwell said. He encouraged residents, business owners and the general public to use this opportunity to learn more about the project and offer feedback.
For years, the City of Wichita has searched for ways to relieve traffic congestion on Zoo Boulevard at I-235 and the Big Ditch. Numerous improvements widened Zoo Boulevard under I-235 and widened the bridge over the Big Ditch in the late 1990s, but congestion continued as the traffic volume exceeded 30,000 vehicles daily on Zoo Boulevard. In 2007, the City began pursuing an option for providing an exit ramp from northbound I-235 that would cross over the Big Ditch and connect to 13th Street on the west side.
Earlier this month, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced approval of the “Break in Access” Study, allowing the City to proceed with design and construction of the Big Ditch crossing. The study supports an additional access point to I-235. Because I-235 is a federal highway, the “break in access” required approval of the FHWA and the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). State approval had been acquired prior to the FHWA request.
In its request for the access break, the City demonstrated that the project would improve safety and operations on I-235.