Interstate 635 Kansas / Missouri

Interstate 635 Kansas Interstate 635 Missouri
History
North End
South End

Overview

I-635 south across the Kansas River Bridge

Ramps from Interstate 70 join Interstate 635 south at the Kansas River Bridge. The pair of three lane bridges were completed in 1976, but are not fully Interstate standard due to narrow shoulders. 06/18/15

Interstate 635 in Kansas and Missouri provides a western bypass of Downtown Kansas City and truck route between Merriam, Kansas, and I-29 in north Kansas City, Missouri. The freeway serves the Santa Fe and Fairfax Industrial District on the Kansas side of the Missouri River and Horizons Business Park in Riverside, Missouri. The urban route also serves the Argentine, Quindaro Bluffs and Turner residential areas of Kansas City, Kansas. The south end of the freeway ties into U.S. 69 (Metcalf Avenue) from into the commercial center of Mission.

The exit number sequence for I-635 in Kansas continues northward into Missouri. There are no control cities for the freeway in Kansas and signs on the Missouri side simply reference the state of Kansas. 2015 traffic counts along Interstate 635 in Kansas peak at 77,200 vehicles per day (vpd) on the segment between K-32 and I-70/U.S. 24-40. Counts for I-635 in Missouri range from 49,125 vpd at the Missouri River to 53,542 vpd south of I-29.

History

Missouri submitted Interstate 635 to AASHO as part of its proposed Urban Route Numbering on July 31, 1958. It was approved along with I-435 (Kansas City Eastern Beltway) and I-470 on November 10, 1958. The November 1958 plan for I-635 took the route eastward along the K-5 freeway spur to U.S. 69 (7th Street), and along U.S. 69 to the Platte Purchase and Fairfax Bridges across the Missouri River toward I-29.1 This was shifted westward to a new alignment after 1968 when additional federal funding would pay for a new Missouri River crossing.

Construction of Interstate 635 began in 1969.2 The freeway was complete in 1975 from I-35 north to Kansas Avenue (K-32 / Old K-132), from State Avenue (old U.S. 24-73) north to Leavenworth Avenue (K-5 west), and from the Fairfax Bridge (U.S. 69 / Old U.S. 169) northward to I-29/U.S. 71 in Riverside, Missouri. I-635 was finished by 1977.

In 1990, Interstate 635 was designated as the Harry Darby Memorial Highway. Completed in 2004, a $98-million project reconstructed the interchange between I-70 and I-635. The work replaced the bridges on I-70 westbound over I-635 and reconstructed I-635 between Kansas and State Avenues.2

A new diamond interchange (Exit 1) with Horizons Parkway opened to traffic in December 2007 just north of the Missouri River. The exit serves the Horizons Business Park and Argosy Casino. Horizons Parkway was built northward from I-635 to Missouri 9 in 2008,3 while Argosy Parkway was extended west to Exit 1 in 2009.

Route Information

  • North End – Kansas City, MO

  • South End – Overland Park, KS

  • Total Mileage – 12.67

Mileage

Kansas – 8.90

  • Cities – Kansas City

  • JunctionsI-35 I-70

Missouri – 3.77

  • Cities – Riverside, Kansas City

  • JunctionsI-29

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

Kansas City, MO - 1968
The proposed route of Interstate 635 in 1968.

The initial alignment for I-635 was slated to use the 1933-built Fairfax and 1957-built Platte Purchase Bridges across the Missouri River. The narrow spans for U.S. 69 were eventually replaced during atwo-year project through December 2016.

Kansas City, MO - 1972
A short section of Interstate 635 was open by 1972 between State Avenue (former U.S.24/73) and K-5 (Leavenworth Road).

K-5 accompanies I- 635 between Exit 7 and Exit 8. The K-5 freeway spur east from I-635 to the Fairfax District was completed around 1976.

North End I-29 US 71 – Kansas City, Missouri

I-635 North at I-29 US 71

I-635 north at I-29/US 71 - Riverside, MO

Just north of the split with U.S. 69, signs advise motorists of the forthcoming directional T interchange (Exits 12A/B) with I-29/U.S. 71. I-29/U.S. 71 overlap southward to the Alphabet Loop (I-35 and I-70) at Downtown Kansas City and northward to the St. Joseph vicinity. 10/30/16

I-635 north at I-29/US 71 - Riverside, MO

I-29/U.S. 71 wind east through Gladstone to connect with Interstate 35 in 3.5 miles. I-35 ventures northeast to leave Kansas City via Claycomo and Liberty en route to Des Moines, Iowa. 10/30/16

I-29 US 71 South at I-635

I-29/US 71 south at I-635 - Kansas City, MO

I-29/U.S. 71 angles southeast along side Prairie View Road (former U.S. 71) to the small city of Houston Lake on the one mile approach to Exit 3C with Interstate 635 south. 06/18/15

I-29/US 71 south at I-635 - Kansas City, MO

Interstate 635 curves southwest from Exit 3B through the city of Riverside, passing between Argosy Casino and Horizons Business Park with three interchanges ahead of the Missouri River bridge. 06/18/15

I-29/US 71 south at I-635 - Kansas City, MO

The entrance ramp from 56th Street adds an auxiliary lane to I-29/U.S. 71 south to Interstate 635 south (Exit 3B). I-635 links Kansas City with the Fairfax Industrial District of Kansas City, Kansas after a 0.35-mile overlap with U.S. 69. 06/18/15

I-29/US 71 south at I-635 - Kansas City, MO

Two lanes separate from I-29/U.S. 71 south to Bethel-Welborn, Kensington and Argentine in Kansas City, Kansas. Exit 3C follows for Highway A (NW Gateway Avenue) south to U.S. 69 (Vivion Road) in Riverside. 06/18/15

I-29 US 71 North at I-635

I-29/US 71 north at I-635 - Northmoor, MO

Advancing from North Kansas City and the split with I-35, I-29/U.S. 71 briefly enter the city of Northmoor at Exit 1C for Oak Trafficway (Route 283). The north end of Interstate 635 (Exit 3B) lies two miles to the west of this four lane section of freeway. 10/17/04

I-29/US 71 north at I-635 - Northmoor, MO

I-29/U.S. 71 progresses beyond the U.S. 169 freeway and Northmoor to Left Exit 3B with Interstate 635. This stretch of I-29 provides part of a bypass for long distance travelers bound for I-35 south around Downtown Kansas City. 10/17/04

I-29/US 71 north at I-635 - Northmoor, MO

The northbound freeway expands to four lanes ahead of Left Exit 3B for Interstate 635 south. I-635 also provides part of a through route for motorists headed west along the Kansas Turnpike to Topeka. 10/17/04

I-29/US 71 north at I-635 - Northmoor, MO

Interstate 635 leads south through Riverside to cross the Missouri River into the Quindaro Bluffs area of Kansas City, Kansas. I-29/U.S. 71 turn northwest to Platte Woods and Kansas City International Airport (MCI). 06/19/15

I-635 North End Throwback

I-635 north at I-29/US 71 - 1989

U.S. 169 previously overlapped with U.S. 69 north from 7th Street in Kansas City, Kansas across the Platte Purchase Bridge onto I-635 north. The route took a dog leg east from the end of I-635 to Arrowhead Trafficway via I-29/U.S. 71 south. U.S. 169 was relocated eastward away from I-635 to the Broadway Bridge in 1991 when toll collection ceased at the crossing. Photo by Michael Summa (1989).

I-635 north at I-29/US 71 - 2004

These button copy guide signs posted at the north end of Interstate 635 were replaced by the mid 2000s. 10/17/04

I-29/US 71 south at I-635/Route A - 2001

Previous guide signs for Interstate 635 on I-29/U.S. 71 south paired the freeway with Route A (NW Gateway Avenue). Photo by J.P. Nasiatka (05/01).

South End I-35 US 69 – Overland Park, Kansas

I-635 South at I-35 US 69

I-635 south at I-35/US 69 - Kansas City, KS

Interstate 635 advances south from Shawnee Drive, three quarters of a mile to ramps for I-35 and U.S. 69. I-35 connects Kansas City, Missouri to the east with Olathe, Gardner and Ottawa to the southwest. 11/03/16

I-635 south at I-35/US 69 - Kansas City, KS

An auxiliary lane joins I-635 south from Shawnee Drive to Merriam Drive (Exit 1B) as the freeway approaches the Overland Park city limits and transition to U.S. 69 (Metcalf Avenue) south. 11/03/16

I-635 south at I-35/US 69 - Kansas City, KS

Entering the folded diamond interchange (Exit 1B) with Merriam Drive west to Merriam and east to Shawnee Heights in Kansas City. I-35 parallels Merriam Drive / Lane south to Shawnee Mission Parkway and north to Southwest Boulevard. Collectively the three roads represent the historic eastern extent of K-10. K-10 follows a freeway west from I-35 and I-435 to Lawrence now. 11/03/16

I-635 south at I-35/US 69 - Overland Park, KS

Exit 1A carries motorists to left side on-ramps for Interstate 35. Des Moines is the northbound control city for I-35 from 119th Street in Olathe while Downtown Kansas City is still seven miles to the east from the concluding I-635. 11/03/16

I-635 south at I-35/US 69 - Overland Park, KS

U.S. 69 splits with I-35 south to follow Metcalf Avenue from I-635 to Mission. Formerly following Metcalf Avenue south throughout Overland Park, U.S. 69 was relocated to an overlap with U.S. 56/169 west and I-35 south to Overland Parkway. 11/03/16

I-635 south at I-35/US 69 - Overland Park, KS

Exit 1A separates within the Interstate 35 median. Emporia is a 100 mile drive to the southwest while Des Moines is 200 miles to the north. 10/17/04

I-635 south at US 69 - Overland Park, KS

A left side entrance ramp brings U.S. 69 south onto Metcalf Avenue ahead of an end shield for Interstate 635. Metcalf Avenue crosses Turkey Creek and climbs southward as a controlled access arterial to U.S. 56/169 (63rd Street). 11/03/16

I-35 North at I-635 US 69

I-35 north at I-635/US 69 - Merriam, KS

Interstate 35 curves east from Antioch Road and Turkey Creek to meet I-635 north (Exit 231A) in 0.75 miles. 06/19/15

I-35 north at I-635/US 69 - Merriam, KS

A collector distributor roadway partitions from I-35 north at Left Exit 231A for Interstate 635. U.S. 69 ties in from Metcalf Avenue to the south, but without full access to Interstate 35. 06/19/15

I-35 north at I-635/US 69 - Merriam, KS

Interstate 635 arcs north through Kansas City, Kansas to provide a direct route to the BNSF yard, I-70 at Coronado and I-29 north to Kansas City International Airport (MCI). 06/19/15

I-35 US 69 South at I-635

I-35/US 69 south at I-635 - Kansas City, KS

The first in a series of diagrammatic signs outlines Left Exit 231A/B for both Interstate 635 north back into Kansas City and U.S. 69 south into Overland Park. 10/31/16

I-35/US 69 south at I-635 - Mission, KS

The forthcoming exchange (Exits 231B/A) with Metcalf Avenue was constructed before Interstate 635. Ramps previously connected with parallel Merriam Drive (former K-10) just to the north. 11/03/16

I-35/US 69 south at I-635 - Mission, KS

The roadways of Interstate 35 diverge to accommodate left side ramps with I-635 and Metcalf Avenue. U.S. 69 follows Metcalf Avenue south to Mission and Shawnee Mission Parkway (U.S. 56/169). U.S. 69 returns to I-35 at Exit 228B. 10/31/16

I-35/US 69 south at I-635 - Mission, KS

Interstate 635 leads back north into Kansas City, Kansas, as I-35 curves southwest along the Turkey Creek Expressway to Merriam, Shawnee and Lenexa. 10/31/16

US 69 North at I-35 I-635

US 69 north at I-35/635 - Mission, KS

U.S. 69 (Metcalf Avenue) straddles the Overland Park and Mission city line to the freeway beginning of Interstate 635 north. 11/03/16

US 69 north at I-35/635 - Mission, KS

The roadways of U.S. 69 separate ahead of the left turn for 52nd Street and the entrance ramp to Interstate 35 north. U.S. 69 follows I-35 east from I-635 to the 18th Street Expressway. The two routes parallel one another north through Kansas City, Kansas to Riverside, Missouri. 11/03/16

US 69 north at I-35/635 - Mission, KS

U.S. 69 and Interstate 635 come together with I-35 at an antiquated interchange. I-635 enters Kansas City just north of Merriam Drive (old K-10) at the Argentine and Turner neighborhoods. 11/03/16

Sources:

  1. Interstate system route numbering web site http://www.nwindianahwys.homestead.com/INTER_MAIN.HTML, Stephen Summers.
  2. Kansas Interstate 50th Anniversary
  3. “The new interchange on Interstate 635 leading to Horizons Parkway should be open by the second week of December, Riverside and state transportation.” The Kansas City Star, October 31, 2007.

Page updated November 4, 2020.