KEARNEY — Based on an update provided Monday, Aug. 3 by Missouri Department of Transportation Project Manager Juan Yin, the construction of a second Interstate 35 interchange in Kearney is expected to begin early in 2021.
“This project will take about two construction seasons to complete,” she said Monday during a digital board of aldermen meeting. “We have already approved the final plans. The final plans look good.”
The project is in its final stages of rights-of-way acquisitions and bids for the work are expected this November. The project includes a diverging diamond, a type of diamond interchange where the two directions of traffic on the non-freeway road cross to the opposite side on both sides of the bridge at the freeway. The roadway will also include a bicycle lane and walking trail. Additional improvements around the interchange, including a roundabout at Nation Road, will help traffic flow and are also part of coming construction work.
“On the Nation Road roundabout, we are moving to the final plan stage. We completed the right-of-way drawings and now the city is working with property owners to obtain easements. That project will be completed in time to bid it so that it opens up at the same time as the interchange,” said John Zimmerman of TranSystems, the company contracted to design the roundabout and help track complete project funds.
MoDOT is covering a $10 million cost share for the interchange. Kearney voters approved a $24.3 million bond issue in 2018 and a sales tax increase to 8.625% for debt obtained by bond issuance to help cover the city’s portion of construction costs.
According to Zimmerman, estimates for the interchange are around $20.4 million with roundabout work costing additional funds.
“What we are projecting at this point is that after both projects are completed, you’ll have about $2.6 million that could go to other projects or could be closed out,” he said.