KHP: expect major backups on I-470 at 21st for a few days

Published: Jun. 4, 2018 at 10:45 PM CDT
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Authorities hope time will ease the backups caused by a new construction project.

Around rush hour Monday the exit from I-470 onto SW 21st Street looked more like a parking lot than place to get off the Interstate.

Trooper Eric Otero Hernandez was one of three troopers who helped Topeka Police officers direct traffic at the scene.

“We were trying to make sure everybody kept moving,” said Otero Hernandez. “We understand that there's a traffic signal on here. There's not much we can do, people just need to find a way to get around the construction that's going to be happening this summer on I-470.”

The intersection of SW Arvonia Place and Huntoon is closed until September, along with the I-470 exit ramp leading to it. This means more drivers will keep going to the 21st Street exit.

“There's going to be delays and it may take a little longer to go through the detour but like I said it's going to be a really great project when it's all done,” Project Manager Linda Voss said.

Trooper Otero Hernandez says the traffic congestion should ease up in a few days, as people learn to steer clear of the exit.

“Topeka is a big square,” said Otero Hernandez. “You can go from block to block and get around to the same spots. Just find another way, that way you can still get to your job early, on time and still be safe about it.”

Parts of the Huntoon and Arvonia intersection will re-open in September, with traffic back to normal around December 14th.