U.S. 69 in Johnson County is Kansas’ most congested highway — here’s your chance to help fix it

U.S. 69 toll lanes

The U.S. 69 project seeks to address congestion and safety issues along a busy stretch of the highway between 103rd and 179th Streets. Above, a view of U.S. 69 looking south from 103rd Street. 

The Kansas Department of Transportation is hosting a virtual open house and public meeting on the U.S. 69 Expansion Project this week. The project seeks to address congestion and safety issues along a busy stretch of the highway between 103rd and 179th Streets.

The study will evaluate whether an express toll lane option is a solution for this corridor. Specifically, the in-depth study will also consider how to increase travel time predictability along that stretch of U.S. 69.

The U.S. 69 corridor is one of the state’s busiest four-lane highways with heavy congestion peaking during morning and evening rush hours, according to the city of Overland Park.

The state department’s first live public meeting takes place virtually from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20. People may join the meeting:

  • Through a direct virtual meeting link that will be emailed Jan. 20. To receive the meeting link via email, sign up for ongoing 69 Express project updates here.
  • Through a public meeting link that will be posted on the project website, 69express.org, on Jan. 20.

The public meeting includes a brief presentation, and attendees will be able to submit questions for a response.

Meanwhile, the project’s first virtual open house is open from Jan. 18 to 31. To access it, visit 69express.org and click the “View Open House” link on the home page.

The open house will include the same up-to-date information being presented at the virtual public meeting, including:

  • Project background
  • Purpose and need for the project
  • Study process
  • Express toll lanes concept and schedule

Possible improvements to U.S. 69 include the addition of a single lane in each direction. Part of that evaluation also includes possibly making the new lane in each direction an express toll lane, where drivers would have an option to pay a toll to use the new lane.

No toll would be assessed for use of the existing two lanes in each direction, as directed by state law, according to the city of Overland Park. Toll funds would be used to pay Overland Park’s portion of an estimated $300 million construction cost.

Individuals can submit questions on the project via the feedback link on the project website. After the public meeting and the open house conclude, a summary of questions, comments and meeting materials will be posted on the website.

Anyone who needs special assistance or accommodations for the meetings, would like to discuss the project or receive a hard copy version of the materials may contact Kelsey Heavin at (816) 527-2468 or kheavin@hntb.com.