Interstate 335 Kansas
Interstate 335 lines the tolled Kansas Turnpike between I-35 at Emporia and I-470 at Topeka. The 50.17 mile rural stretch sees a lone service plaza and interchange (Exit 147) with U.S. 56 near the city of Admire. 2017 traffic counts ranged from 8,770 vehicles per day (vpd) north from Emporia to 9,100 vpd south of Topeka.
A number of overpasses along the I-335 section of the Kansas Turnpike do not meet Interstate height standards. Therefore over height trucks are directed off the turnpike northbound at Emporia or southbound at the South Topeka interchange.
The Kansas Turnpike was constructed as a non-Interstate facility in 1955 and 1956, with the entire turnpike opening on October 21, 1956. The Kansas Turnpike is signed as Interstate 35 from the Oklahoma State line north to Emporia (Exit 127); Interstate 335 from Emporia northeast to I-470 (Exit 177); Interstate 470 from Exit 177 to I-70 (Exit 182); and Interstate 70 from Exit 182 east to U.S. 24-40-73 & K-7 (Exit 224) at Bonner Springs. Note that the exit numbers are consistent for the turnpike regardless of the route number. The portions of the Kansas Turnpike that carry Interstates 35, 70, and 470 were approved as part of the Interstate Highway System by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 1957.1
Also as approved by the Federal Highway Administration, Interstate 335 was designated on the unnumbered section of the Kansas Turnpike on October 23, 1987. Kansas sought Interstate status for this stretch of the turnpike as part of the law passed by Congress that raised the speed limit from 55 to 65 miles per hour on rural Interstate routes (those outside urban areas with populations exceeding 50,000). Inclusion of the unnumbered section of the Turnpike into the Interstate system qualified the route for the higher speed limit.2
Changes were made to the south end of Interstate 335, where I-35 overtakes the Kansas Turnpike southwest from Emporia to El Dorado. A $32.9 million project both reconfigured a directional interchange with left-hand ramps joining I-35 with adjacent U.S. 50, and repositioned the trumpet interchange with the freeway and toll road. Previously I-35 utilized a totso connection from the Emporia bypass to the Kansas Turnpike toll plaza. The freeway was realigned to meet Interstate 335 directly, while a new diamond interchange and roundabout system replaced the previous ramp configuration, dubbed by KDOT officials as the "spaghetti bowl". Work was completed on the new exchange in November 2008.3
North End – Topeka, Kansas
South End – Emporia, Kansas
- Kansas Interstate 50th Anniversary
- "65 MPH Approved for Route." Wichita Eagle, The (KS), October 24, 1987.
- "Winter has done little to delay interchange project." Emporia Gazetta, The (KS), January 30, 2007.
- Tarman, Jason.
Page updated November 8, 2016.