Merriam IKEA opening expected to affect traffic starting Wednesday

IKEA opens tomorrow in Merriam and the Merriam Police Department is ready to implement its traffic plan to handle the crowds.
IKEA opens tomorrow in Merriam and the Merriam Police Department is ready to implement its traffic plan to handle the crowds.

Unless you just can’t stand to go another day without those Swedish meatballs, Wednesday – and perhaps the next few days – would be a good time to avoid the traffic heading to the IKEA grand opening.

The Merriam Police Department has put together an in-depth traffic plan to handle the volume predicted by IKEA to head to the event, which could hit 10,000 per day. But, you might still prepare yourself to hit a few slow spots if your daily comment takes you down Johnson Drive, Antioch, Shawnee Mission Parkway or I-35 in the vicinity of IKEA.

IKEA traffic primarily is going to end up in two spots: the IKEA parking garage at the store or the old K-Mart lot off SM Parkway. Traffic into the IKEA lot will only be coming from Johnson Drive because all of the grand opening traffic will be routed into a pattern that ends up on Johnson. Drivers who park at the K-Mart lot will be shuttled by bus to the store. IKEA is bringing in a parking company from Detroit – one that handles all its grand openings – to take care of the parking.

Here are a few points to keep in mind if you are going to try to get to the opening or just get to work tomorrow:

  • Traffic only enters IKEA from Johnson Drive to IKEA Way which will be one-way south up to 62nd.
  • SM Parkway eastbound won’t be able to turn left on IKEA way – they will have to go to Antioch to turn left and then go to Johnson Drive.
  • Left lanes on SM Parkway, Johnson Drive and Antioch are for IKEA traffic only.
  • Through traffic lanes will be maintained on each of the streets.
  • No street parking on Slater and side streets
  • Eastbound traffic on Johnson Drive will be encouraged to take Merriam Drive and then SM Parkway – but through traffic for the other Johnson Drive businesses will be maintained

A map showing traffic routes and signage points from the Merriam police department is embedded below. The traffic plan details can be found here.

And remember, if you were planning to come early to be first in line for tomorrow’s grand opening, you are already too late. The line was allowed to start forming yesterday.

https://dfv6pkw99pxmo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/IKEA-Traffic-Control-Map_201408280841584330.pdf