Chiefs game-day traffic can be a pain, simply based on sheer volume.
With the Missouri Department of Transportation in the midst of a two-year project to revamp the Interstate 70 and Interstate 435 interchange near the stadiums, that pain could be heightened.
To help ease that pain a bit, MoDOT and the Chiefs have been collaborating on a traffic plan with detours – for game days only – for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The Chiefs have their first preseason game at home Saturday evening, and officials have encouraged fans to plan ahead and allow plenty of time when traveling to any home game this year.
The big change will be for drivers coming to the stadium on southbound I-435:
• Fans heading for gates 3 and 4 (southeast parking lot entrances) should take U.S. 40 (exit 63A) and go east to Blue Ridge Cutoff and then south.
• Fans heading to gates 5 and 6 (west entrances) should get on westbound I-70 and promptly exit at Manchester (exit 7B), then head south to Raytown Road or Stadium Drive.
There will be no new detours for fans coming from northbound I-435 or either direction of I-70:
• For northbound drivers on I-435, those headed to gates 3 and 4 should take eastbound I-70 to Blue Ridge Cutoff. Gates 5 and 6 should use Raytown Road and Stadium Drive.
• For I-70 traffic, use Blue Ridge Cutoff (gates 3 and 4) or Manchester Road (gates 5 and 6).
Chief president Mark Donovan said the communication with MoDOT and others has been “unprecedented.”
“When you think about a project of this size…what we're trying to do is communicate to our fans that it's going to be different,” he said at a news conference Tuesday.
Donovan said Chiefs staffers have talked with MoDOT, Kansas City Police and other law enforcement agencies to learn “how we can make game days here as efficient as we possibly can.”
As part of MoDOT's interchange project, the loop ramps from westbound I-70 to southbound I-435 and from eastbound I-70 to northbound I-435 have been closed and torn up. They will be rebuilt to match the new I-435 bridges that will be constructed over I-70.
Current detours have westbound I-70 traffic using Manchester Trafficway to turn around to eastbound I-70 toward southbound I-435, and eastbound I-70 traffic using U.S. 40 east to the northbound I-435 ramp.
Drivers going straight through the area on game days will not be detoured off either freeway.
For those who normally use the left-exit ramps – from northbound I-435 to westbound I-70 and from southbound I-435 to eastbound I-70 – there will be game-day detours:
• From northbound I-435, continue to the 23rd Street exit, turn left, get back onto southbound I-435 and then exit to westbound I-70.
• From southbound I-435, take the exit to westbound I-70, exit onto Manchester, turn left and get back onto eastbound I-70.
After games, the ramps from Manchester Trafficway to I-70 will be open, and the current detours in place will be returned to their normal path all other days.
As part of the interchange project, MoDOT is also building new flyover ramps to replace the current left exit ramps to I-70.
“We respect the fact that this is a very vital project to this region, and you never want to have a project like this impact the season,” Donovan said. “But the reality is with a project this large, it's going to impact everyone for the next few years.”
For more information and for a map showing detours and recommended traffic flow, go to: www.modot.org/i-435-and-i-70-interchange.