History was made Friday as the ribbon was cut officially opening Kansas’ first diverging diamond interchange located at Interstate 35 and Homestead Lane in southwest Johnson County. Officials from Johnson County and the cities of Edgerton and Gardner helped the Kansas Department of Transportation cut the ribbon at an event for the new interchange.
The I-35 and Homestead Lane DDI project includes construction of the interchange and the reconstruction of Homestead Lane as a paved roadway from north of the interchange to the intersection of 199th Street in southwest Johnson County. Before interchange construction began, Homestead Lane was a gravel roadway with a bridge spanning I-35.
The new interchange will provide access to planned future development in the area, including the soon-to-open BNSF Intermodal Facility, Logistics Park, and warehouse facilities. In addition, the DDI will handle the expected 13,200 average daily traffic this year, with a projected 43,100 average daily traffic in 2040, with 24 percent of the traffic being trucks.
“The new DDI will provide enhanced safety and economic benefits for years to come,” said Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King. “The interchange will safely serve both the commuter as well as the significant truck traffic that will be generated from the BNSF Intermodal development for years to come.”
The DDI is a unique form of diamond interchange in which the two directions of traffic on Homestead Lane cross to the opposite side of the road at each ramp intersection. This type of interchange allows for a two-phase traffic signal operation at the ramp intersections and significantly improves safety since left turn movements do not conflict with opposing through movements. The heavy truck traffic from the BNSF Intermodal facility will generate significant left turn movements when accessing the new interchange.
The $36 million I-35 and Homestead Lane DDI Project was funded by KDOT’s 10-year T-WORKS transportation program, including a $14 million partnership contribution from Johnson County.