Interstate 470 Kansas
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.
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
East End – Tecumseh, KS
West End – Topeka, KS
Mileage – 13.72
Cities – Topeka
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
The Topeka Inset in the 1960 Rand McNally Road Atlas showed Interstate 470 as Bypass I-70.
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 – Tecumseh, Kansas
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
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
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
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
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
West End – west Topeka, Kansas
west north at
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
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).
west south at
- Kansas Interstate 50th Anniversary
- “New interchange opening – $94-million project will open more direct routes for Topeka commuters.” Journal-World (Lawrence, KS), August 1, 2001.
- “Two lanes of I-70 to stay open for games.” KUsports.com, August 25, 2005.
- “Kansas Turnpike lane widening planned from city to K-7.” Lawrence Journal-World (KS), April 4, 2010.
- “Turnpike travelers find service-area changes.” Lawrence Journal-World (KS), May 12, 2002.
Page updated February 3, 2020.