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By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON | THE KANSAS CITY STAR
Bridge work in the Northland will challenge drivers as they head into downtown Kansas City later this week.After Friday morning’s rush hour, crews will close the ramp from southbound Interstate 35 to southbound I-435.The ramp will remain closed until 5 a.m. July 19, depending on weather, to allow the Missouri Department of Transportation to rehabilitate the bridge that carries the ramp.Drivers are being warned to expect congestion through the area. Traffic headed to southbound I-435 will be detoured onto southbound U.S. 69 at the I-35/U.S. 69/Pleasant Valley Road interchange.People headed that way should allow extra time, warned Kerri Lewis, a senior customer relations specialist for MoDOT.“The locals in the Liberty area should anticipate that this work is going on and that this detour will add additional traffic to their normal route,” she said.More than 13,000 vehicles take the ramp from southbound I-35 to southbound I-435 each day.This project is one of several bridge rehabilitation projects taking place during the summer construction season.Another significant closure is coming Monday.The ramp from northbound Missouri 9 to southbound Interstate 635 will close at 7 a.m. Monday and will remain closed until 5 p.m. Aug. 12 so crews can replace the bridge deck.During the closure, traffic will be detoured via Missouri 9 to Horizon Parkway and then to southbound I-635.Once that work is completed, crews will close the ramp from northbound I-635 to northbound Missouri 9. That work is not expected to begin until mid-August.For Leavenworth drivers who rely on Missouri 92, a stretch of that highway will close after 9 a.m. Monday so the Beverly Bridge, which spans Missouri 45 and the BNSF Railway tracks, can be replaced.That highway will remain closed through December, although people will be able to access businesses on each side of the bridge.Work on the Northland bridge rehabilitation projects began in April, with most work expected to be completed this year.