The replacement of the U.S. 40 bridge over Interstate 435 is on schedule, and the bridge should be open by early October, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The replacement of the U.S. 40 bridge over Interstate 435 is on schedule, and the bridge should be open by early October, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

A MoDOT contractor took out the bridge during the weekend of July 10-11 and has been working on a new bridge since.

“Everything should be on time,” Nidal Alkhaldi, MoDOT senior construction leader, said Friday.

The new bridge also comes with two ramps that didn’t exist before, an entrance onto northbound I-435 and an exit onto from southbound I-435. That should be done sometime in November. The idea is to take some traffic off I-435, particularly the left-hand exit from southbound I-435 onto eastbound Interstate 70 near Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums.

This is part of a $39 million upgrade of the interchange of I-70 and I-435.

I-70 will get a third lane in each direction, which should ease traffic flow during rush hour. There will be a dedicated eastbound lane on I-70 for stadium traffic. The third lanes on I-70 between Blue Ridge Cutoff and Manchester Trafficway should be done by late 2011 or early 2012.

Also, as soon as the Kansas City Chiefs wrap up play in January, MoDOT plans to replace the Blue Ridge Cut-off bridge – the George Brett Bridge – over I-70. That’s supposed to be done by the Kansas City Royals home opener in early April 2011.

The current work to replace the U.S. 40 bridge has led to intermittent lane closures. So has other work. Drivers have been slowed by bridge work on eastbound I-70 between Van Brunt and downtown Kansas City, meaning just two lanes of traffic in several spots. In 2011, it’ll be the same for westbound I-70, and more work is set for 2012. In all, MoDOT hopes to schedule years of upgrades at I-435 and I-70 and along I-70 from downtown to I-470 in eastern Independence.

The department has updates at www.modot.org/kansascity.