Northland I-35 overpass opening soon

07/16/2013 3:50 PM

07/16/2013 3:52 PM

The much-anticipated Flintlock Flyover overpass in the Northland is poised to make its debut just in time for the start of school.

If weather permits, crews expect to have the overpass and adjoining roads open to limited traffic by mid-August when Liberty schools are scheduled to open, said Steve Hansen, Liberty’s public works director.

The project will connect Northeast Flintlock Road in Kansas City, North, to Liberty Drive in Liberty by crossing over Interstate 35. The entire cost is $18 million. That includes the initial engineering work and construction.

Officials had planned for the construction to be done by late August or early September. However, inclement weather delayed some construction.

Officials now expect the entire project, including construction clean up and other restoration work, to be completed by early October.

“People will appreciate the overall project because it will provide an important function,” Hansen said. “The weather set them back a little bit, but the contractors are now making really good progress.”

Once completed, the Flintlock Flyover will feature a two-lane road with a paved bicycle and pedestrian path. Roundabouts will be located at Liberty Drive and at Northeast 76th Street.

Reduced traffic in the area near Flintlock Road would make it easier for the Liberty School District to transport the growing number of students within the district including those who live west of I-35.

“As a district, we are excited about what we understand will be a limited-capacity opening of the Flintlock Flyover in time for the first day of school,” Superintendent John Jungmann said. “It will be an important factor as we redesign our bus patterns for more efficient transportation within our school district and will greatly relieve traffic for our parents and buses.”

It also would give Liberty residents easier access to retail destinations such as Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot and numerous restaurants at I-35 and Missouri 152.

More than 10,000 vehicles are expected to use the Flintlock Flyover each day.

The project is a joint effort between Liberty, Kansas City and the Missouri Department of Transportation. Kansas City’s share of the project is about $1.8 million. Liberty is spending $1.6 million and the remaining amount is funded through a federal earmark designated for transportation.

Liberty officials said the overpass is a critical part of their overall transportation plan.

“Any traffic that is diverted on the overpass will take a load off of Kansas Street or Missouri 152,” Hansen said. “I know for motorists, that will be a good thing.”

The flyover will include a combination pedestrian and bike path on the north side of the bridge. Those enhancements will tie into the existing trail systems in Liberty and Kansas City, he said.

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