New ramps opening at I-70/I-435 interchange

The Examiner staff
Major reconstruction of the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 near the stadiums has been underway for more than a year and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

The Missouri Department of Transportation plans to open two new ramps of the Interstate 435 and Interstate 70 interchange Thursday, the first significant portion to reopen since construction started in the spring of 2019.

Crews will open the ramps from northbound I-435 to I-70. Traffic to both directions of I-70 will exit on the right – just as before for eastbound I-70 traffic.

Drivers used to exit left for westbound I-70 but will now take a ramp on the right that loops underneath I-435 and merge onto westbound I-70.

Next week, MoDOT plans to open the new ramps from southbound I-435 to I-70. Traffic to westbound I-70 will exit on the outside as before.

Traffic to eastbound I-70 will exit on the right – instead of the left as before – and loop underneath I-435 before merging. The new wide-loop ramps that pass underneath the I-435 bridges make the interchange a partial-turbine design.

In 2019 MoDOT estimated that 120,000 daily drivers on I-70 and 100,000 on I-435 go through the interchange. With the $47 million project, the department rebuilt the interchange to ease congestion and reduce crashes caused by vehicles merging, weaving and jockeying into the desired lane. It also replaced a quartet of aging bridges.

Currently, traffic passing through the interchange on both directions of I-435 uses the new southbound bridge. MoDOT says the new northbound bridge will open in the fall. Also still to reopen in the fall: the new loop ramps from westbound I-70 to southbound I-435 and from eastbound I-70 to northbound I-435. Those ramps have been reconfigured to accommodate the new right-exit ramps, as well as the overhead I-435 bridges being built closer together.