WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Reconstruction began Monday on Wichita’s North Junction project.

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, nearly 100,000 vehicles pass through the interchange of I-135, I-235, K-96, and K-254 each day, and upgrades to the area have been a top priority of commuters, freight shippers, and local governments.

The focus is on replacing the northbound I-135 loop ramp. The ramp will be replaced with a two-lane flyover ramp with direct access to southbound I-235 and westbound K-96.

The southbound I-135 ramp to southbound I-235 will also be replaced. Additionally, the westbound K-254 ramp to southbound I-135 will be improved by extending the acceleration lane before drivers merge into I-135 traffic.

Initial impacts to traffic include temporary lane closures early this week on southbound I-135, from 53rd Street North to 37th Street North, as lanes are reconfigured to allow the construction of the new ramp to I-235. An 11-foot width restriction will be in place for these realigned lanes.

Bridgework will also begin on southbound I-235 over rail tracks west of I-135. KDOT’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) equipment relocation and additions will be completed soon to enhance the WICHway traffic management center’s ability to monitor the construction zone and alert drivers of traffic issues or construction impacts.

This subphase of the Gold Project will run concurrently with and tie into a leg of the first phase of the North Junction improvement, called the Green Project. The Green Project reconstructs pavement, bridges, and the Broadway interchange on I-235 from Meridian Avenue to a point east of Broadway and west of I-135. It will be completed in late 2021.

The Gold Project Phase 2A will be completed in late 2023. Phase 2B is currently being designed and could begin in 2023. The second subphase of the Gold Project will provide a two-lane, direct connection from northbound I-235 to eastbound K-96 and reconstruct other ramps that connect K-96 with I-135.

The Purple Project completes the major infrastructure improvements for the North Junction. Preliminary design work has been completed.

Dondlinger Construction of Wichita is the lead contractor on the Gold Project Phase 2A with a construction cost of $36,319,409. The project is funded by the KDOT Cost Share Program, City of Wichita, and Sedgwick County.

A website for the Gold Project Phase 2A can be found at www.135Gold.com.