This loop takes drivers from northbound I-135 to I-235 in north Wichita. It will no longer be necessary when the flyover ramp opens on May 31, 2023. (KSN Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The drive from northbound Interstate 135 to Interstate 235 in north Wichita will get much easier today.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says the flyover ramp from northbound I-135 to I-235 will open this afternoon, about two months earlier than expected. KDOT officials will hold a ribbon cutting for the ramp at 10:30 a.m.

Instead of taking the small traffic loop that gets clogged with traffic during evening rush hour, drivers will be able to use the new flyover ramp.

The new I-135 flyover ramp sits empty. KDOT expects to open it on May 31, 2023. The flyover replaces the loop that is just north of it in the picture. (KSN Photo)

“Everyone will breathe a sigh of relief, and traffic will be much better in the North Junction area,” Tom Hein, Wichita Metro public affairs manager, said. “We look for fewer crashes, just a smoother flow of traffic, less stop and go, and we won’t be dealing with that loop ramp where you have to merge in with the westbound K-254 traffic that just doesn’t work anymore. So this is going to be a great day when this opens.”

Hein said the traffic signs are already in place.

KDOT expects to uncover the signs and remove the barricades at the new I-135 flyover ramp on May 31, 2023. (KSN Photo)

“Right now, the arrows are covered on those new signs,” he said. “As soon as we open the ramp, there will be somebody up there removing … that cover on those arrows, and the ramps will be open.”

The flyover ramp is just part of the North Junction construction. Hein said there is still a lot of work to be done.

“But opening this northbound I-135 flyover to southbound 235 will be a major step, and it will be a big improvement for everyone, so we’re looking forward to it,” he said.

Hein said the next phase should make it easier for drivers on I-235 to get to eastbound Kansas Highway 96. Currently, I-235 drivers have to exit to I-135 and almost immediately exit to K-96.

Hein said the plan calls for a two-lane direct connection from northbound I-235 to eastbound K-96.

“Plus, we will improve and reconstruct the two ramps from westbound K-96 to I-135, both southbound and northbound directions,” he said.

Click here to read about the Wichita North Junction project.