Missouri highway planners seek comment on changes to I-70

The Missouri Dept. of Transportation is seeking public comment on alternatives to improve Interstate 70 within Kansas City that could include closing access at some interchanges.

Proposals include closing some interchanges and improving others on a stretch from the Paseo to the Blue Ridge Cutoff, including closing on and off ramps at Brooklyn Avenue, Benton Boulevard, Truman Road, 18th Street, 27th Street and Manchester Trafficway, adding lanes and improving the Benton and Jackson curves, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.

Officials say that the 6.8-mile highway segment is experiencing pavement and bridge deterioration, has traffic delays and congestion and has issues with traffic merging and weaving. An analysis of crash data found that eight people died in eight accidents on the stretch of I-70 from the Paseo to the Blue Ridge Cutoff from 2006 to 2010, and there were 32 crashes that resulted in disabling injuries. The largest percentage of crashes were rear-enders, accounting for 48% of accidents.

MoDOT is seeking suggestions from the public at a series of meetings planned in February and online through Feb. 25 at www.metroi70.com.

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