The U.S. 69 Modernization and Expansion Project (69Express) is examining a range of strategies for reducing congestion between 103rd and 179th Streets, including potentially improving transit, expanding the use of technology and adding capacity to the highway and the surrounding road network.
As these strategies are investigated, each one is measured against how well it would reduce congestion and meet other elements of the Project’s Purpose and Need. The goal is to find an approach — or combination of approaches — that does a better job of improving safety, reducing congestion, promoting sustainability, providing flexible travel choices for users and supporting local and regional growth.
Alternatives Under Study
All projects like the 69Express first start by looking at what happens if nothing is done other than already planned improvements. In the case of U.S. 69, this means no capacity improvements; ongoing rehabilitation and maintenance only; building the U.S. 69 northbound bridge at 179th Street; and updating the U.S. 69 Guardrail End Terminal (improving the ends of guardrails throughout the corridor).
Improve Alternate Routes
This strategy involves making improvements to parallel and supporting arterial roadways: Metcalf Avenue; Antioch Road; Switzer Road; and Quivira Road. It also would look to improving traffic operations through signal coordination, arterial capacity improvements and transit Improvements. These actions would require City, County and Transit Agency commitments and investments.
Manage Existing Capacity
Another approach is to use a combination of technology and policy incentives to improve safety and reduce bottlenecks. This approach would identify a combination of Transportation Systems Management Strategies (such as ramp metering and queue warning systems) with Traffic Demand Management Strategies (relying on policies to promote carpooling, staggered work shifts and telecommuting).
Improve Multimodal Options
One option is to increase the effectiveness of transit and other multimodal and personal mobility choices by: improving roadways or shoulders for better multimodal connections; increasing the number and frequency of transit routes; and providing better bike and pedestrian facilities along with park-and-ride lots. Other improvements could include: Bus-on-Shoulder; Bus Rapid Transit; and light, heavy or commuter rail. Many of these courses of action also would require City, County and Transit Agency commitments and investments.
Add General-Purpose Lanes
This alternative would involve adding one new general-purpose lane in each direction for all motorists. In addition, collector/distributor roads and auxiliary lanes would be added. The U.S. 69 interchanges at Blue Valley Parkway and at I-435 would be reconfigured. Improvements to local interchanges and supporting cross streets would be made and existing pavement and bridges would be reconstructed.
Add Express Toll Lanes
This strategy would add an additional lane in each direction as an express toll lane with defined entrance and exit locations. Traffic volumes would be balanced across the express toll lanes and the general purpose lanes through congestion management techniques such as lane pricing and access and vehicle eligibility strategies. The U.S. 69 interchanges at Blue Valley Parkway and at I-435 would be reconfigured. Improvements to local interchanges and supporting cross streets would be made and existing pavement and bridges would be reconstructed.