All proposed noise walls will be constructed.

U.S. 69 highway traffic background image

Planning for the Future of U.S. 69
Latest Information and Resources

Express Toll Lanes Approved for U.S. 69 Highway

In October 2020, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), along with the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) and the City of Overland Park, began an in-depth study of how best to improve U.S. 69 from 179th Street north to 103rd Street. One of the state’s busiest highways, U.S. 69 experiences heavy congestion during rush hours and at other times. The study concluded that adding express toll lanes would best improve public safety, reduce congestion and increase travel time predictability.

Previous studies indicate that U.S. 69 congestion will increase significantly in the future, creating slower traffic and longer response times for emergency personnel. Transportation improvements are needed to address congestion and keep the economy moving. These improvements will be identified as part of the U.S. 69 Expansion Project.

Learn more about the project 

69 Express Map

U.S. 69 Expansion Project History at a Glance

The U.S. 69 Expansion Project (69Express) was launched in 2020 after years of effort to examine how best to improve the state’s busiest four-lane highway. The goal was to address growing safety, travel time reliability and congestion issues in the corridor, which stretches from 103rd Street to 179th Street, all in Overland Park. Crash rates in the corridor are 53 percent above the statewide average. Existing pavement and bridges are more than 50 years old and overdue for replacement. Meanwhile, congestion is growing; peak travel times are expected to triple over the next few years. As a result of great progress on the Project in 2021, 69Express advanced significantly towards the start of construction in 2022.

Preloader
  • PREVIOUS STUDIES

    PREVIOUS STUDIES

    Nearly 25 years were spent studying how to ensure U.S. 69 more safely meets growing local and state needs.

    • 2020 – U.S. 69 Pre-Planning Analysis
    • 2018 – U.S. 69 Corridor Study Phase 1 Report
    • 2016 – 167th Street and U.S. 69 Break-in-Access Request
    • 2006 – 159th Street and U.S. 69 Break-in-Access Report
    • 2004 – Break-in-Access Study on I-435 and U.S. 69
    • 1998 – U.S. 69 Initial Corridor Screening Evaluation
  • PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT

    PROJECT  ANNOUNCEMENT

    69Express is announced as a top project for KDOT. The improvements would include an emphasis on expansion of the roadway from 103rd to 151st Streets. The project would aim to alleviate congestion and bottlenecks on one of Kansas’s busiest highways.

  • PROJECT INITIATION

    PROJECT INITIATION

    69Express is launched to determine how best to improve one of the state’s busiest highways to address growing safety, travel time reliability and congestion issues between 103rd and 179th Streets.

  • COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

    COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

    69Express kicks off with a series of civic leader interviews and statistically valid community surveys and focus groups to better understand the issues and opportunities surrounding improving the corridor. A broad-based community advisory group is established to provide input and insights regarding community preferences for the project.

  • COMMUNITY OUTREACH

    COMMUNITY OUTREACH

    U.S. 69 Corridor users, residents and businesses are engaged in developing the project’s technical analysis and proposed alternatives through a broad range of public involvement tools: public and virtual meetings; project website, social media and newsletter; media relations; community presentations; and other means.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

    ENVIRONMENTAL  ASSESSMENT

    The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) undertake an Environmental Assessment (EA) to examine the environmental effects of the project. The goal is to help transportation officials make project decisions that balance engineering and transportation needs with social, economic, and natural environmental factors.

  • REASONABLE ALTERNATIVES

    REASONABLE ALTERNATIVES

    As the EA progresses, three Reasonable Alternatives emerge: No-Build (kept as a benchmark to measure against), Traditional Widening and Express Toll Lanes. The two Build Alternatives are carried forward for their ability to satisfy project needs and because they rate favorably against most other initial screening criteria when compared to other alternatives.

  • TOLL FEASIBILITY STUDY

    TOLL  FEASIBILITY STUDY

    The 69Express Toll Feasibility Study is conducted to determine whether Express Toll Lanes could realistically and effectively manage corridor congestion, producing more reliable travel times. It concludes that they could — and also would generate sufficient revenue to support the operations, maintenance and lifecycle costs associated with tolling.

  • CITY COUNCIL VOTE

    CITY COUNCIL VOTE

    The Overland Park City Council votes 10-2 in favor of Express Toll Lanes on U.S. 69 Highway. With the vote, Overland Park and KDOT will take a joint proposal for Express Toll Lanes to the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) for its approval in accordance with state law.

  • KTA VOTE

    KTA VOTE

    The KTA Board approves the Overland Park/KDOT joint proposal for implementing Express Toll Lanes on U.S. 69 by a 5-0 vote. The proposal goes to the State Finance Council for its approval in accordance with state law.

  • STATE FINANCE COUNCIL VOTE

    STATE FINANCE COUNCIL VOTE

    The Kansas State Finance Council (SFC) approves the Overland Park/KDOT joint proposal for implementing Express Toll Lanes on U.S. 69 by an 8-0 vote. The vote concludes the state process by which Express Toll Lanes may be considered as an addition to the state highway system within a municipality.

  • DESIGN-BUILD

    DESIGN-BUILD

    KDOT opens the search for the 69Express design-build project team, with selection coming in 2022. KDOT selected design-build for delivery because the approach helps deliver complex projects more quickly through improved innovation and communication.

  • NOISE STUDY

    NOISE STUDY

    KDOT completes the noise study required when a project like 69Express significantly expands or alters a highway’s alignment. Fourteen locations are identified where noise wall construction may be warranted if approved by nearly 1,500 identified eligible voters.

  • RECOMMENDED ALTERNATIVE

    RECOMMENDED ALTERNATIVE

    Express Lanes are selected as the Recommended Preferred Alternative for 69Express. It is determined that the Express Lanes best meet the Purpose and Need of the project, address congestion and traffic safety concerns within the corridor, result in fewer impacts to the natural and human environment and provide a lower-cost solution.

  • FONSI

    FONSI

    The U.S. Department of Transportation issues a FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact). The FONSI clears the way for KDOT to move ahead with construction of 69Express.

  • Noise Wall Selection

    Noise Wall Selection

    KDOT will build all 11 noise walls proposed as part of 69Express. To be built, each of the proposed 11 noise walls had to receive 70% of the eligible votes. The noise walls will be constructed in locations just north of 119th Street to 151st Street.

  • Equity Committee

    Equity Committee

    The Equity Committee will assist KDOT in identifying and mitigating potential impacts of express lane operations on communities of concern, with recommendations due in early 2023. The 13-member group includes diverse representatives from major Johnson County health, transit, business and social service providers. Members also engage with other community groups to ensure a broad range of voices are heard regarding potential toll impacts and mitigations.

  • Design-Build Team Selection

    Design-Build Team Selection

    KDOT continues its review and analysis of competing design-build teams’ proposals for constructing 69Express. A winning team and approach are expected to be announced mid-summer 2022. Once a team is selected, the official Project groundbreaking ceremony will follow in mid-September.

  • Groundbreaking

    Groundbreaking

    Construction on 69Express is set to begin in late 2022. The project will involve adding a new, tolled lane in each direction from 151st to 103rd streets, replacement of 50-year old pavement, 11 noise walls, and improving interchanges at 167th street, Blue Valley Parkway, and I-435.

“Commuters on U.S. 69 corridor are frustrated with increasing congestion and travel times. We must address these issues to keep the Overland Park community and economy growing.”

— Former Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach