NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) — For the last two weeks of May, highway drivers heading east from Newton have to deal with the closing of a popular highway ramp. The Kansas Department of Transportation is closing the northbound U.S. Interstate 135 ramp to eastbound U.S. Highway 50 on Wednesday, May 18, so it can be patched.
Thousands of vehicles use the northbound I-135 ramp to U.S. 50 every day. U.S. 50 and I-135 will be open but possibly down to one lane in some areas.
KDOT is offering the detour seen in red on this map. This route includes state highways that are accessible to all traffic, including large trucks with heavy loads.
It takes drivers from northbound I-135 to K-15, north on K-15 to U.S. 56, east on U.S. 56 to U.S. 77, then south on U.S. 77 to U.S. 50 at Florence. The detour is 51 miles long, compared to the usual 27 miles between Newton and Florence. It will take you about 49 minutes.
If you want to avoid the extra 24 miles, there are other options. But, KDOT warns that larger trucks with heavy loads may not be able to use the shorter routes because of weight limits on some county roads or bridges.
Here is one of the shorter detours:
As you are heading north on I-135, take the First Street/Broadway exit. Take the first right on the roundabout, which will head you east on First Street. After a couple of blocks, take a left on Spencer Road. After one-and-a-half miles, turn right onto Old Trail Road. Old Trail Road merges onto eastbound U.S. 50. This detour will take you about 27 minutes.
If you miss the First Street/Broadway exit, your next option will be to take the detour to K-15. Stay on K-15 for about four miles until you get to NE 60th Street. There is a church on the northwest corner of the intersection and a small street sign marking 60th Street. Turn right on 60th. It will take you to the town of Walton, where you can get back onto U.S. 50. This detour will take you about 29 minutes.
KDOT said the northbound I-135 ramp to eastbound U.S. 50 ramp is expected to reopen by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1.