Temporary closure of ramp from K-96 to I-135 in Wichita. Here’s an alternate route

Drivers in Wichita will have to take an alternate route Tuesday evening as the Kansas Department of Transportation closes the ramp from westbound Kansas 96 to northbound Interstate 135.

The ramp is set to close at 7 p.m. and is expected to reopen 6 a.m. on Wednesday, KDOT public affairs specialist Tracy Statton said.

Drivers in the area encouraged to “detour to the Hydraulic off-ramp south, past White Star Machinery, and get back on northbound I-135,” A KDOT news release said.

Statton cited shoulder repairs as the reason behind the closure. KDOT spokesperson for south-central Kansas Tim Potter said the shoulder work cannot be done with traffic passing through.

He said the repairs are not due to weather or bits falling off the ramp but ongoing routine maintenance.

“We scheduled it for the night hours so it will have less impact on motorists,” Potter said.

Tuesday’s expected closure comes after a series of other repairs on Wichita ramps.

On Jan. 11, KDOT closed the southbound I-135 ramp to eastbound K-96 due to weather that washed out the dirt around the support beams. The ramp reopened the following morning.

That same ramp closed again on Jan. 19 after workers found that a “piece of concrete broke” off from the bridge. KDOT said it happened under the bridge and is thought to have been caused by saturated ground that caused the ramp to close on Jan. 11, The Eagle previously reported.

The ramp reopened the following day on Sunday. “It’s a similar problem,” Statton said, adding that recent construction work on the ramp wasn’t a factor.

These ramps will be replaced as part of KDOT’s Gold Project, which was initially expected to be completed by December 2023 at a cost of over $36 million.

The projected is intended to alleviate congestion and hazards at the north Wichita interchange, KDOT said.

“They [ramps] will be replaced as part of the project,” Potter said. “We’re doing maintenance to take care of the ramps until then.”

Dondlinger Construction is the prime contractor for the project, which is now expected to be completed this spring.