Skip Navigation

Project Overview

The I-70 Topeka Polk-Quincy Viaduct project began as a study in 2009 involving residents, community leaders and stakeholders to assess the needs and possible solutions in the project area.

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), the City of Topeka, and the Metropolitan Topeka Planning Organization have partnered together for this project and understand the community's concerns regarding location and design. Throughout the project the study partners will take into account how any design affects property owners, the land uses around the viaduct, the ability for downtown Topeka to redevelop, and the needs of those who travel through Topeka and use this route.

Phase I

During Phase I, the study team was charged with identifying a location and design concept on which to base future design work.

The study team initially considered the condition and alignment of the viaduct from Polk Street on the west to Quincy Street on the east. However, because of the relationship of the viaduct to downtown and how that area is served by I-70, the project team also reviewed the conditions and alignment of I-70 from the MacVicar Avenue interchange through the Adams Street interchange.

The study team, with the assistance of the Project Advisory Committee (PAC), identified three alternatives to improve traffic flow and safety in Phase I. After an extensive public involvement process including the public, local stakeholders and community officials, a final preferred alternative was selected.

The Preferred Alternative

The Preferred Alternative creates an access system with two "split diamond" interchanges, one serving the north side of the downtown area and one serving the east side.

North Side

On the north side, the existing 1st Street ramps are relocated to connect directly with Topeka Boulevard. These ramps serve traffic traveling to and from the west on I-70. A complementary set of ramps connect to Kansas Avenue and serve traffic traveling to and from the east on I-70. These ramps are joined by a pair of one-way connector roads to form a system that will provide access to downtown from the north, the proposed Riverfront redevelopment area, and North Topeka.

East Side

A similar system of ramps and connector roads will serve the east side of the downtown area and East Topeka. The existing 3rd Street ramps will be relocated to 4th Street and will serve traffic traveling to and from the west on I-70. The existing 10th Avenue ramps will remain and be widened and new 6th Avenue ramps will be constructed to serve traffic traveling to and from the east on I-70. The 4th Street, 6th Avenue, and 10th Avenue ramps will be connected by the one-way, connector road pair of Madison and Monroe Streets. Other ramps between 10th Avenue and 4th Street will be removed.

While the City of Topeka supported improvements to I-70, they also requested that a modification be considered as the project moves into preliminary design, what is being called a Future Design Consideration.

KDOT will analyze the requested modification that would eliminate a proposed eastbound I-70 entrance ramp from 6th Avenue and instead provide an eastbound I-70 exit that would connect to Monroe Street north of 10th Avenue. Other ramps connecting I-70 to local streets would remain as shown in the Preferred Alternative.

Phase I of the project was completed in August 2011. As part of T-WORKS, the state's current transportation funding program, the I-70 Polk-Quincy Viaduct Design project was selected to receive funds to continue the project into Phase II and begin work on design plans.

Phase II

During Phase II, engineers will add detail to the location and design concept identified in Phase I. After Phase II is complete, engineers will have more information about the right of way needs and potential future construction costs. While no funding was identified for construction or right of way acquisition under T-WORKS, continuing design work will position the I-70 Polk-Quincy Viaduct project to be construction ready so that the project can move forward when funding becomes available.

Did You Know?