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Federal Highway Deputy Administrator Visits Kansas City-Area's $41.4 Million I-35/Pleasant Valley Improvement

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Interstate Highway System, Gregory Nadeau

Federal Highway Deputy Administrator Visits Kansas City-Area's $41.4 Million I-35/Pleasant Valley Improvement

Federal Highway Administration
27 April 2015

FHWA 31-15
Monday, April 27, 2015
Contact: Doug Hecox
(202) 366-0660

Nation’s Impending Funding Shortfalls Put Future Key Highway Projects in Doubt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Federal Highway Administration's Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau met with workers and received a progress report on the $41.4 million Pleasant Valley Improvement project, which began earlier this month.

"This project is an example of what we can do with our transportation dollars when we work together with State and local governments, and regional planners," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "It is also an example of the types of projects that will be put on hold or cancelled altogether unless we can provide long-term funding certainty at the federal level."

Earlier this year, the Administration announced a plan to address the infrastructure deficit with a $478 billion, six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act. The proposal would make critical investments in roads, bridges and other infrastructure needed to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency and support jobs well into the 21st century.

Located in central Clay County, workers are beginning a two-year project to improve I-35 from one mile north of Pleasant Valley Road to I-435, improve the I-35 and Pleasant Valley Road interchange, and improve nearby cross streets Church Road, Sobbie Road, Pleasant Valley Road, South Liberty Parkway, and US-69. The existing interchange is too small to accommodate the traffic volume of one of the state's fastest-growing areas, causing significant tie-ups for Pleasant Valley, Liberty, Kansas City, and nearby Claycomo.

"As the workers told me, this project will eliminate a major Kansas City-area chokepoint, and improve traffic flow and safety for thousands of drivers each day," said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "These are the kind of projects we need to see more of nationwide. With Congress' help, we will."

The project relies on more than $32 million in combined federal and state highway funds, with an additional $4.2 million coming from the City of Liberty, $5 million from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and $100,000 from the City of Pleasant Valley.

When completed in 2017, the improved segment of I-35, interchange and nearby cross streets will greatly reduce travel time for drivers, and improve air quality due to less traffic idling. Driver safety will be enhanced, as well, with ramp lane improvements which help north- and southbound traffic on I-35 merge more easily with traffic coming from the I-435 interchange.

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