A crash that snarled traffic Wednesday on Interstate 435 in Overland Park caused damage unlike anything transportation officials have seen.
About 4:45 a.m., a vehicle struck the concrete barrier near Metcalf Avenue on I-435. That tremor caused a tractor-trailer and another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction — eastbound — to also crash into the barriers, in place for a pavement reconstruction project.
The tractor-trailer lost control, slamming into more concrete barriers as sparks flew. More than 40 barriers were disturbed or damaged, with one being split in half.
Those in the Kansas Department of Transportation, some of whom have worked on roadways for 20 years, have “never seen a barrier broken that badly,” said spokeswoman Kim Qualls.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Qualls added the department is not aware of any injuries suffered by those involved.
Many morning commutes were delayed considerably due to the incident. But after a crane was called in, the barriers are back in place, and the project will not be delayed, Qualls said.
However, she cautioned drivers to reduce their speeds to the posted 55 mph through the work zone.
“We’re having a really bad problem” with speeding, Qualls said, adding the 140,000-plus vehicles that pass through per day paired with the merging necessary to travel through the work zone make motorists susceptible to wrecks. “We’re going to have to do a lot of enforcements in this area.”