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City and state leaders officially partner to replace Polk Quincy Viaduct

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - State and local leaders signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday officially agreeing to replace the Polk Quincy Viaduct.

The project was first announced in July as one of eight expansion and modernization highway projects.

It’s the Eastern Kansas portion of the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program.

“[The Viaduct] has been an important and vital link in the interstate system,” said Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation Julie Lorenz.

“We’ve seen traffic volume increase. infrastructure deteriorate and highway designs have changed and quite frankly maintaining this bridge has gotten more and more expensive over time.”

The $234 million project consists of $214 million in state contribution and $20 million in local funding.

It expands Interstate 70 to six lanes from MacVicar Avenue to Topeka Boulevard and flattens the curve near Third Street.

It will also offer more pedestrian connections from the riverfront and downtown neighborhoods.

“This is what happens when we work together and understand the impact that those things have it wasn’t just about us working together,” said Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla.

“It’s about the impact for the people Topeka is at the hub of a bio agro corridor that is going to bring millions of dollars in economic development to.”

“It’s also going to allow us to look at riverfront development and connect our entire city of Topeka that’s south of the river with Topeka that’s north of the river,” said Governor Laura Kelly.

“By getting this project done it opens up endless possibilities for what can happen around here.”

Kelly is asking for cooperation from drivers in the time leading up to the project.

“Be patient as this project is going on because it’s not a fun road to drive on now, it’ll be even less so as construction and renovation is going on,” she said.

“I ask for patience and to be engaged and realize that the rewards will be worth it.”

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