Interstate 470 Kansas

Interstate 470 Kansas
History
East End
West End

Overview

Interstate 470 in Kansas provides a bypass loop of I-70 and the Polk-Quincy Viaduct through Downtown Topeka. The western half, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Highway, constitutes a commuter route and part of U.S. 75, a major north-south route across Topeka. The eastern half runs along the tolled Kansas Turnpike between Interchanges 177 and 183.

Topeka, Kansas Map

The 2001-realignment of Interstate 70 at the East Topeka Interchange slightly extended I-470 east to beyond the site of the former Topeka Service Area.

History

The section of Interstate 470 that overlays the Kansas Turnpike was constructed in 1955 and 1956, with the entire turnpike opening on October 21, 1956. The portions of the Kansas Turnpike that carry I-35, I-70, and I-470 were approved as part of the Interstate Highway System by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 1957. The remainder of I-470 west of the toll road was constructed in the 1960s.1

A $94-million project started in 1997 redesigned the East Topeka Interchange on the Kansas Turnpike where I-70 and I-470 converge with U.S. 40 and K-4. A new alignment and main line toll plaza for Interstate 70 was constructed, bringing the freeway onto the Turnpike mainline via a high-speed wye interchange at the east end of I-470. This eliminated a trumpet interchange and access road leading north to where I-70 presently meets Rice Road at Exit 365. The work also added access to the Oakland Expressway, the route of K-4 northward across the Kansas River to U.S. 24. The new East Topeka Interchange opened to traffic on August 1, 2001.2

Route Information

  • East End – Tecumseh, KS

  • West End – Topeka, KS

  • Mileage – 13.72

  • Cities – Topeka

  • JunctionsI-70 I-335

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

Topeka, KS - 1962
Topeka inset – 1962 Rand McNally North American Road Atlas

The Topeka Inset in the 1960 Rand McNally Road Atlas showed Interstate 470 as Bypass I-70.

Topeka, KS - 1967
Topeka Inset – 1967 Kansas Official Highway Map

A substandard connection previously connected Interstate 70 with the original East Topeka Interchange and U.S. 75 Bypass was designated along the free portion of Interstate 470.

East End I-70 Kansas Tpk US 40 K-4 – Tecumseh, Kansas

I-470 Kansas Tpk east at I-70 US 40 K-4

I-470/Kansas Tpk east at I-70/US 40/K-4 - Topeka, KS

Interstate 470 angles northeast between an array of subdivisions to the west of Lake Shawnee on the two mile approach to Exit 182 with I-70, U.S. 40 and K-4. 06/18/15

I-470/Kansas Tpk east at I-70/US 40/K-4 - Topeka, KS

Exit 182 branches north from Interstate 470 east to form the beginning of the Oakland Expressway, a 5.33 mile long freeway linking I-70 with U.S. 24 across the Kansas River. U.S. 40 and K-4 utilize the freeway on their respective paths to Tecumseh and Valley Falls. 06/18/15

I-470/Kansas Tpk east at I-70/US 40/K-4 - Topeka, KS

SE Wittenberg Road spans Interstate 470 (Kansas Turnpike) a half mile west of the wye interchange (Exit 182) with the Oakland Expressway. Traffic departing ahead can use a loop ramp for I-70, U.S. 40/K-4 west to Downtown Topeka. 06/18/15

I-470/Kansas Tpk east at I-70/US 40/K-4 - Topeka, KS

The Kansas Turnpike mainline turns east with two lanes through the former Topeka Service Plaza area to overtake I-70 east to Lawrence and Kansas City. U.S. 40 parallels the tolled section of Interstate 70 to Bonner Springs. 06/18/15

I-470/Kansas Tpk east at I-70/US 40/K-4 - Topeka, KS

An end shield for Interstate 470 stands between the Croco Road overpass and Oakland Expressway flyover. The eastbound lanes extend another 1.4 miles before merging with I-70. 06/18/15

I-70 Kansas Tpk west at I-470 US 40 K-4

I-70/Kansas Tpk west at I-470 - Tecumseh

I-70 follows the Kansas Turnpike through eastern Kansas, connecting Kansas City, Lawrence and Topeka. The toll road is generally six lanes wide on this stretch due in part to efforts from a $54 million widening between the East Topeka and Lecompton Interchanges completed in 20073 and the Kansas Turnpike Authority’s 2010 Long-Term Needs Study.4
I-70 advances west from the Topeka Service Area to split with the Kansas Turnpike and I-470 at Exit 183. 10/31/16

I-70/Kansas Tpk west at I-470 - Tecumseh

Both Topeka interchanges from the Kansas Turnpike are connections to freeways: Exit 183 serves I-70 west, U.S. 40 and K-4 while Exit 177 joins I-470 with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Parkway through southwest Topeka. The 2001 revision of Exit 183 added ramps to K-4 (Oakland Expressway) and U.S. 40 east to Tecumseh. 10/31/16

I-70/Kansas Tpk west at I-470 - Tecumseh

Two lanes separate from the Kansas Turnpike (I-470) at Exit 183 for Interstate 70 west in a half mile. The toll road travels southwest from Topeka as I-335 to Emporia, where it meets I-35. I-35 overtakes the Turnpike from there to Wichita, Wellington and the Oklahoma state line by South Haven. 10/31/16

I-70/Kansas Tpk west at I-470 - Tecumseh

Opened in August 2001, the revised split of I-70/470 improved the connection for I-70’s westbound continuation as well as reduced delays at the toll plaza. Work added a new set of roadways for I-70 to directly connect the Kansas Turnpike with the preexisting freeway west from Rice Road. Additionally the original Topeka Service Plaza was demolished, with a new $14 million facility opened five miles to the east by July 2002.5 10/31/16

I-70/Kansas Tpk west at I-470 - Tecumseh

The turnpike and Interstate 70 diverge at a wye interchange. A directional interchange located nearby, joins the departing I-70 with the Oakland Expressway north to U.S. 40 east, U.S. 24 across north Topeka and K-4 north to Meriden. 10/31/16

I-70 US 40 K-4 east at I-470 Kansas Tpk

I-70/US 40 east at I-470/Kansas Tpk - Topeka

A folded diamond interchange (Exit 365) was constructed at Rice Road as part of the 1997-2002 East Topeka interchange project. The exit replaced a partial exchange and access road leading south from I-70 to the original trumpet interchange with the Kansas Turnpike. 06/19/15

I-70/US 40 east at I-470/Kansas Tpk - Topeka

A new terrain alignment added for Interstate 70 in 2001 takes the mainline seamlessly east onto the Kansas Turnpike to Lawrence and Bonner Springs. U.S. 40/K-4 branch north from I-70 at Exit 366 for the Oakland Expressway while I-470 extends the toll road to south Topeka. 06/19/15

I-70/US 40 east at I-470/Kansas Tpk - Topeka

All traffic bound for Interstate 470 (Kansas Turnpike) west, U.S. 40 east to Tecumseh and K-4 north to U.S. 59 at Nortonville departs from Interstate 70 east in unison at Exit 366. 06/19/15

I-70/US 40 east at I-470/Kansas Tpk - Topeka

Motorists partition into ramps for the Oakland Expressway within the directional interchange joining it with Interstate 70. The two lane expressway along K-4 is proposed to extend northward from U.S. 24 beyond the Kansas River bridge to NE 46th Street, but lack of funding has halted work since 2000. 06/19/15

US 40 K-4 west at I-70 I-470 Kansas Tpk

K-4 west at US 40/I-70-470 - Topeka, KS

U.S. 40 west combines with K-4 (Oakland Expressway) south from 6th Avenue. Ramps for I-70, I-470 and the Kansas Turnpike follow in 0.75 miles. 06/19/15

US 40/K-4 west at I-70/470/Kansas Tpk - Topeka

U.S. 40 commences a 289-mile overlap with Interstate 70 west across the state to Oakley. K-4 follows the freeway for 12.7 miles to Exit 353. 06/19/15

US 40/K-4 west at I-70/470/Kansas Tpk - Topeka

A left exit ramp takes motorists onto I-70 (Kansas Turnpike) east to Kansas City while the Oakland Expressway mainline continues directly to Interstate 470 for the toll road south to Wichita. 06/19/15

West End I-70 US 40 US 75 K-4 – west Topeka, Kansas

I-470 west US 75 north at I-70 US 40 K-4

I-470/US 75 west at I-70/US 40/K-4 - Topeka, KS

A viaduct spans both Wanamaker Road and Huntoon Street at Exit 1B as I-470 west / U.S. 75 north near the directional T interchange (Exit 1A) with Interstate 70-U.S. 40/K-4. 10/31/16

I-470/US 75 west at I-70/US 40/K-4 - Topeka, KS

Ground level shields reference the overlaps of U.S. 40/K-4 along I-70 at the west end of I-470 in Topeka. This is typical KDOT practice for secondary routes along an Interstate mainline. U.S. 75 overlaps with I-70 east for 1.93 miles to a separate freeway spanning the Kansas River north to NW 46th Street. 10/31/16

I-470/US 75 west at I-70/US 40/K-4 - Topeka, KS

Single lane ramps connect I-470 west with I-70 east to Downtown Topeka and west to Junction City, Salina and Denver, Colorado. 10/31/16

I-470/US 75 west at I-70/US 40/K-4 - Topeka, KS

An end Interstate 470 Kansas shield stands along the ramp to Interstate 70-U.S. 40/K-4 west ahead of the Urish Road overpass. K-4 departs the freeway at the ensuing exit for Eskridge. 10/17/04

I-70 US 40 K-4 east at I-470 US 75

I-70/US 40/K-4 east at I-470/US 75 - Topeka, KS

K-4 east accompanies I-70/U.S. 40 east from Exit 353 to the two-wye interchange (Exit 355) with Interstate 470 east / U.S. 75 south. SW 10th Avenue (old K-10) parallels the south side of the freeway on this stretch. 10/17/04

I-70/US 40/K-4 east at I-470/US 75 - Topeka, KS

Interstate 70-U.S. 40/K-4 crest over 1,000 feet above sea level across the bluffs south of the nearby Kansas River. The freeway gradually lowers to partition with I-470 east. I-470 provides a bypass of Topeka for the narrow stretch of I-70 along the Polk-Quincy Viaduct by Downtown. 06/18/15

I-70/US 40/K-4 east at I-470/US 75 - Topeka, KS

U.S. 75 travels southeast along Interstate 470 as part of its bypass of Topeka between the northern suburbs and Topeka Regional Airport (FOE). The former alignment followed Topeka Boulevard from the Kansas Turnpike north to U.S. 24. 06/18/15

I-70/US 40/K-4 east at I-470/US 75 - Topeka, KS

Exit 355 parts ways with Interstate 70-U.S. 40/K-4 east for I-470 east / U.S. 75 through the southwestern reaches of Topeka to I-335 (Kansas Turnpike). 06/18/15

I-70/US 40/K-4 east at I-470/US 75 - 1984

A simple wye interchange (Exit 355) connected I-70 east with I-470 east, with U.S. 75 Bypass south joining the belt route from nearby Wannamaker Road. U.S. 75 was relocated from its surface route through the capital city once the new freeway south from I-470 opened to traffic. AASHTO approved both the realignment of U.S. 75 to I-470 and the elimination of U.S. 75 Bypass on April 19, 1998. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1984).

I-70 US 40 K-4 west US 75 south at I-470

I-70/US 40-75/K-4 west at I-470 - Topeka, KS

An interchange sequence sign posted one mile ahead of I-470 east and U.S. 75 south (Exit 455) on I-70-U.S. 40/K-4 west. 06/18/15

I-70/US 40-75/K-4 west at I-470 - Topeka, KS

A loop ramp joins I-70 west from Wannamaker Road just one quarter mile ahead of the flyover (Exit 355) taking U.S. 75 south onto Interstate 470 east. Prior to 1990-92 road work, Wannamaker Road provided a surface route connection to I-470 from a six-ramp parclo interchange. 06/18/15

I-70/US 40-75/K-4 west at I-470 - Topeka, KS

The flyover taking motorists onto I-470 east and U.S. 75 south to Carbondale, Lyndon and Wichita was added to Interstate 70 by 2002. 06/18/15

Sources:

  1. Kansas Interstate 50th Anniversary
  2. “New interchange opening – $94-million project will open more direct routes for Topeka commuters.” Journal-World (Lawrence, KS), August 1, 2001.
  3. Two lanes of I-70 to stay open for games.KUsports.com, August 25, 2005.
  4. “Kansas Turnpike lane widening planned from city to K-7.” Lawrence Journal-World (KS), April 4, 2010.
  5. “Turnpike travelers find service-area changes.” Lawrence Journal-World (KS), May 12, 2002.

Page updated February 3, 2020.