Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2015

For more information, contact:
Michele Compton, 816-607-2027

KC Scout Begins Ramp Metering Project for I-35

LEE'S SUMMIT - KC Scout, a traffic management program that is jointly operated by the Kansas and Missouri Departments of Transportation, is beginning a ramp metering implementation project for I-35. The meters are a cost-effective strategy for addressing congestion issues on I-35, especially those caused when large groups of vehicles attempt to enter the freeway at once during rush hours. The project area spans I-35 from the Missouri-Kansas state line on the north to I-435 on the south. The planning phase of the project began this summer. Public meetings for review and comment of project materials will occur during the fall. The planning phase will conclude with a list of potential ramp meter locations. Construction is anticipated to begin during the summer of 2016. The project is part of a broader vision to address congestion by adding ramp meters and other, strategic road improvements along the entire I-35 corridor in the KC Metro.

During the planning phase, a traffic analysis will be completed to demonstrate useful benefits for all of the interchanges that are located between state line and I-435. Ramp meter installation will be avoided or delayed at on-ramps where the meters could cause traffic problems, either along the arterial street or at the merge with I-35. Once the traffic analysis is complete, the proposed list of ramp meter locations will be shared with the public at public open houses scheduled for this fall.

The ramp meters are anticipated to improve the on-ramp traffic that merges onto the freeway during busy, rush hour periods. They create gaps in on-ramp traffic that provide for smaller, more frequent groups of vehicles to enter the freeway during rush hours. The end results of the ramp meter installation project are as follows: smoother and less stressful freeway entries, minimized sudden weaving and braking, more consistent traffic flows, improved freeway speeds, decreased travel times, and reduced rear end and sideswipe crashes.

They will work and look similar to traffic signals. Drivers will be required to obey them as they would other traffic signals. A red light means stop, a green light allows vehicles to proceed onto the freeway. Existing wait times on ramp meters in the KC Metro area less than a minute.

Adding ramp meters to I-35 was among the near-term improvement opportunities that were recommended in the I-35 Moving Forward study. The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) partnered with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and a range of stakeholders from Johnson, Miami, and Wyandotte Counties to develop the study in 2013. It is a companion document for KDOT's Five County Regional Transportation Study. The ramp metering implementation project is funded with approximately $1 million via a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant from MARC and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Set-Aside funds from KDOT.

KC Scout and KDOT are developing the project with input from local governments. The I-35 corridor is the third corridor where KC Scout will be installing ramp meters, as the I-435 corridor between Metcalf Avenue and Three Trails Interchange received ramp meters in 2011 and during mid-August, two new northbound ramp meters were activated at the U.S. 69 and 135th Street Interchange in Overland Park.

For more information, contact K. Mark Sommerhauser, Scout Transportation Project Manager, at 816-607-2243 and karsten.sommerhauser@modot.mo.gov.

KC Scout is Kansas City's bi-state traffic management system, designed to lessen traffic jams by improving rush-hour speeds, increasing safety by decreasing the number of rush-hour accidents and improving emergency response to traffic situations by clearing incidents quickly and safely. Scout manages traffic on more than 300 miles of continuous freeways in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.

Learn more about KC Scout at http://www.kcscout.net. Follow KC Scout on twitter at twitter.com/kansascityscout, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KansasCityScout.

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