One final piece.

One final piece.


Last year, the state of Missouri substantially completed a two-year, $39 million reconstruction of much of the Interstate 70/Interstate 435 interchange that included new bridges, refurbished bridges and new ramps. The key piece, which opened last September, was a widening of I-70 where it passes under I-435, meaning it’s six lanes from Missouri 7 in Blue Springs to downtown Kansas City. That eliminated what the Missouri Department of Transportation called the worst bottleneck in the metro area.


But there was one last hitch. Part of the overall project was to add a ramp from U.S. 40 onto northbound I-435, one more way to get more commuter traffic off I-70.


“This is the final piece of that puzzle,” MoDOT spokesman Steve Porter said Wednesday.


That rocky area where the new ramp goes had trouble – water issues, Porter said.


“We had to go back and do some redesign work,” he said.


That final piece now is being wrapped up, and it will mean a slightly complicated detour for up to two weeks. MoDOT says the ramp from westbound I-70 to northbound I-435 will be closed from June 11 to June 25. The detour is this: Stay on I-70 west to the Manchester Trafficway exit. Take that exit and then pass south under I-70 and take the ramp back up onto I-70, now doubling back to the east. That takes you to the northbound ramp to I-435.


The deadline to open the new 40-to-435 ramp is July 1, but good weather could help speed that, Porter said.


For years, MoDOT had seen the need to substantially rebuild I-70/I-435, a massive project that also included a new Blue Ridge Cut-off bridge over I-70, a new U.S. 40 bridge over I-435, resurfacing the long I-70 bridge near Manchester, new lanes to ease the flow of traffic into Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums, and a ramp from southbound I-435 to 40. All of that was done over about two years, as the state took advantage of $27.3 million in federal economic stimulus money.


But state officials also had their eye on a key event – the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Kauffman coming up July 10.


Porter said drivers might have noticed a lot of resurfacing in that area recently, and striping will be done in the next few weeks, all so everything looks – and functions – just right when the big game arrives.


“We should be in great shape by the Fourth of July,” Porter said.