Kansas Department of Transportation
By linking K-10 and I-70, KDOT’s goal was to better connect its largest northeast Kansas cities: Lawrence, Topeka and Kansas City. HNTB worked as the design firm, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Lawrence, Douglas County and other local stakeholders to design and build the K-10 South Lawrence Trafficway East Leg (SLTE).
In order to mitigate traffic impacts, a bypass connecting I-70 and K-10 was identified and designed to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety on the local street network and expand the K-10 corridor to serve as a regional connector for northeast Kansas. Due to the unique location of the corridor running directly through an existing wetland habitat, there were many design and construction stipulations put in place to assure the freeway would minimally impact the natural environment, while still providing a safe and efficient roadway for the traveling public.
The SLTE project consists of six miles of four-lane freeway construction; seven miles of arterial and collector street relocation; 21 open span bridges; three bridge class box structures; approximately 9,000 feet of noise walls; and the creation of more than 400 acres of wetland, upland prairie and riparian habitat. The project also includes a new folded diamond interchange at K-10 and relocated Haskell Avenue, the completion of a diamond interchange at K-10 and US-59 and a system-to system interchange to connect K-10 and 23rd Street at the ease of the project.
The SLTE project has contributed to local Lawrence streets being less congested and safer, efficient access between southern Johnson County, Lawrence and Topeka has improved and a new wetland education and research center provides enlightenment to students and enthusiasts, all with minimal impact to the surrounding natural environment. Also, as Lawrence is an active, bike-friendly city, HNTB also incorporated nearly 4 miles of new shared-use path within the design to allow pedestrians and bikers safe access through the wetlands and around the K-10 corridor.