Kansas officials push for dangerous stretch of I-70 to be redesigned

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – After a crash involving seven cars killed one person, Kansas officials are pushing for a dangerous stretch of I-70 to be modernized.

The stretch of highway is called the Polk-Quincy Viaduct. The design is a 90-degree turn that goes through downtown Topeka.

According to state officials, it’s some of the oldest highway infrastructures in the country and one of the most crash-prone sections of I-70.

Governor Kelly said she’s been working for years to get the updates done and wants to see plans for the project passed.

“It is a very dangerous place on I-70 and I know that the Transportation Department has moved that up on the priority list and I’m hoping that we can push that project forward,” Gov. Kelly said.

The Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce has also been advocating for the reconstruction of the viaduct for nearly a decade.

President of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce Curtis Sneden said the proposed plan will move the part of I-70 that runs through downtown Topeka to the north about a block and a half, which will make the viaduct, or 90-degree curve, a lot less sharp.

“They will also be adding more lanes and bringing the whole structure into compliance with the modern federal highway standards and so all the way around it will be a much smoother ride through,” Sneden said.

He said construction on the curve likely won’t start until at least 2024.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is holding a Zoom meeting open to the public on March 3 to discuss their proposed project. To register for the Zoom, click here.

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