Commuters into downtown Kansas City Wednesday morning had another closure to deal with in connection with the Grand Boulevard bridge construction.
Crews on Tuesday evening closed the ramp from southbound U.S. 71/Interstate 35 to westbound 670 on the southeast side of Kansas City’s downtown loop. Southbound U.S. 71/I-35 traffic that normally would use westbound I-670 was being detoured along Interstate 70 on the north side of the downtown loop.
The Missouri Department of Transportation also reminded drivers that the left lane of westbound I-670 between Oak and Main streets will remain closed through Oct. 10.
Despite the lane closure, three lanes of traffic remain open through the construction area. Transportation officials advised, however, that other lane closures are expected throughout the duration of the project.
The new traffic pattern proved challenging for commuters Monday and Tuesday as they adjusted to the lane closures. Morning traffic along eastbound I-70 traffic into downtown Kansas City slowed and backed up significantly into the downtown loop Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, traffic during the morning rush hour had improved.
The broken Grand Boulevard bridge was removed last weekend. Transportation officials closed the bridge in early May after an inspection revealed cracks and falling concrete chunks.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has awarded a nearly $3.5 million emergency contract to Clarkson Construction to build the new bridge, which is expected to be done by Dec. 1.
The Kansas City Council in July approved a measure that would allow it to spend up to $1.2 million in capital improvement sales tax dollars to widen the downtown bridge and do other upgrades for pedestrians, bicyclists and aesthetic benefits.