Local officials and representatives of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) recently held a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the finalized K-14 highway realignment project.
The new highway that took two years to complete connects the towns of Hutchinson to Nickerson and Sterling, through Reno and Rice counties, with extra right of way secured to enable future expansion to four lanes.
The new realignment avoids stops, changing speed limits, and sharper turns of the previous highway design that had been in place since World War I.
Access to the new highway is limited to ramps at three new interchanges to reduce the risk of collisions. The interchanges are 56th Avenue near Hutchinson, at Nickerson Road near Nickerson, and at Broadway Avenue near Sterling.
“Now we open the door to the convenience and opportunity this newly constructed highway represents,” explained Calvin Reed, Kansas DOT’s acting secretary, in a statement.
“The convenience of the new K-14 will be an additional selling point in attracting – and keeping – new residents and new businesses to Rice and Reno counties,” he added.
KDOT has been involved in several highway modernization projects as of late to handle both economic and population growth across the state.
The agency held a groundbreaking ceremony in early 2023 for the very first express toll lane effort, the “69Express” project, which is set to be complete in 2025.
The 69Express project is designed to accommodate a 450 percent increase in traffic by 2050 as predicted by KDOT. The project will widen the roadway from just south of 151st Street to just north of 103rd Street in Overland Park. The project will also include two new express lanes.