Motorists are likely to hate this, at least in the short run. More work is coming on Interstate 470, which will be rehabbing 11 bridges all along the highway through Lee’s Summit.
Between 50,000 to 80,000 cars use the route daily, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. Agency officials are recommending that motorists seek alternative routes when possible.
“It’s going to be a really long stretch of I-470 through a couple of construction seasons,” said Lairyn McGregor, a communication specialist with MoDOT. “It’s definitely going to affect the traffic flow.”
The work begins 9 a.m. Monday, July 24, with multiple one-lane closures between Blue Ridge Boulevard and Interstate 70 through mid-August for shoulder reconstruction.
The Cedar Creek Railbed Bridge, View High Drive and Little Blue River are the first bridges that will be repaired.
The work on the three bridges is scheduled to start right after Labor Day and the first phase lasts until sometime in November.
First the north sides of the bridge will be repaired, then the south sides in spring of 2018, with a gap in construction during the winter, said Ryan Kneib, project engineer. Work is expected to take about 60 days for each direction of the highway, he said.
MoDOT is asking people to use as many lanes as possible until they reach the areas where traffic is restricted, but a better idea is to choose a different route, such as Bannister Road, Missouri 150 or Interstate 70, depending on where your home is in Lee’s Summit.
MoDOT said the work is necessary because some of these bridges were constructed in the 1960s and have passed their useful life. Rehabilitation will allow them to serve the public safely for 15 to 20 years.
Other bridges to be rehabilitated:
▪ Kansas City Southern Railroad Bridge over I-470
▪ Blue Ridge Boulevard Bridge
▪ James A. Reed Bridge
▪ Bowlin Road Bridge on northbound I-470
▪ Lakewood Boulevard Bridge on southbound I-470
▪ U.S. 40 Bridge on both northbound and southbound lanes
▪ I-470 Bridge over I-70, both northbound and southbound lanes
This new work is on top of work already underway in the city.
“Bridge work is taking over our highways,” said Mark Dunning, assistant city manager for Lee’s Summit.
The city has shut down the Southwest Main Street Bridge for repairs, and MoDOT already has repair work ongoing for two bridges on Colbern Road, one an overpass for Missouri 291 and the second at Missouri 350.
Some residents are taking the inconvenience with optimism, recognizing the work in necessary.
“The Colbern Road exit being inaccessible for 350 is painful,” Karland Landa said. “But it will be nice to have the bridge updated.”
Others are exasperated by the length of time some project have taken around the city, some of which have lasted years.
“Persels and Jefferson is a nightmare,” said Carmen Smith. She said work in the area has gone on several years, disrupted mail service and there’s no access at one end of Glendana Street. “Then they closed the other end of the street for resurfacing. Please let it end.”
Here’s status of some road projects in Lee’s Summit
Missouri 291 repaving: South of Colbern Road, where most of the work is being done at night, should wrap up in two or three weeks.
Blackwell Parkway Interchange: The contractor ran into unexpected utilities, which has delayed construction of roundabouts, but MoDOT expects that project to be finished in October. The city‘s improvements to Blackwell Parkway between Langsford Road and Shenandoah Drive are complete.
Todd George Parkway shoulders: Work switched to the other side of the road on Thursday, June 20, with the city reopening the northbound lane, but shutting southbound. The project began in late June and should be finished in October.
Main Street Bridge: Work started June 5 with a plan to close the bridge for a short time to replace the surface layer of concrete, but underlying layers were in such bad shape the bridge needed more work than anticipated. The bridge is to reopen to traffic in mid to late August.
Jefferson Street: The project began in January 2015. The street will reopen for two-way traffic by Aug. 3, but there may be work going on behind the curb, such as sidewalk, ADA ramps, seed and sodding.
The city is also overlaying 41 lane miles in neighborhood streets with completion expected by the end of September and has completed 52.7 miles of surfacing sealing for streets. Maps of that work can be found on the Public Works Department webpage, go to cityofls.net.