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Unread 10-13-2010, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
6,737 posts, read 7,737,031 times
Reputation: 2582
Default Kansas Turnpike

I have always been interested in the Kansas Turnpike as I'm interested in transportation in general. Why? Mainly because I found it odd how the KTA doesn't charge for using the highway in the KC area even though the turnpike actually goes all the way past 18th Street Expressway in KCK.

I remember first driving out to KCK and wondering why the highway interchanges were few and far between and the ones they did have were extremely cumbersome and spread out with very long ramps etc. So naturally I went home and figured out why. They used to have toll plaza interchanges and they were designed for more rural standards. Which brings up another topic. Bonner Springs is going to replace their existing "ex"toll plaza interchange with a new interchange with a similar massive footprint rather than replace it with a more urban interchange like a diamond or single point. That seems extremely counterproductive, but whatever.

Regardless, I'm really surprised that the turnpike has not reverted to charging for using the highway in Wyandotte County. I thin it's great they seem to be fine without doing so, but still.

Another reason the KS Turnpike interested me was that when we drove toward Wichita, I never quite understood the way the turnpike takes the long way around while I-35 is more of a straight shot. So again, I researched it that and it's because the turnpike was built before the interstate system.

Anyway, for some odd reason, I was looking at the KSA on wikipedia
Kansas Turnpike - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and thought this was hilarious:

Quote:
Oklahoma's plans for a connecting turnpike fell through, as they had not performed a traffic study and their credit rating was not good enough to obtain loans. Therefore, the Kansas Turnpike ended at the state line, at an at-grade intersection with E0010 Road. Just across the state line was an oat field, into which many inattentive motorists crashed. This abrupt end became nationally famous after Wyoming governor Milward L. Simpson and his wife crashed in mid-1957. The oat farmer plowed the field to provide a safer landing, and the KTA was persuaded to install a huge wooden barrier at the end of the highway. However, within a day, three more drivers had crashed and destroyed the barrier, so the KTA closed the Turnpike south of the South Haven interchange.
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Unread 10-13-2010, 02:02 PM
 
1,662 posts, read 2,512,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I remember first driving out to KCK and wondering why the highway interchanges were few and far between and the ones they did have were extremely cumbersome and spread out with very long ramps etc. So naturally I went home and figured out why. They used to have toll plaza interchanges and they were designed for more rural standards.
This came as a revelation to you?
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Unread 10-13-2010, 02:57 PM
 
400 posts, read 468,108 times
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The story about the Turnpike ending at the Oklahoma state line is an interesting bit of history. Pretty strange story. For the record, I don't really like the Kansas Turnpike. I'm not a big fan of toll roads. I would not take it unless absolutely necessary. I think it would be dumb to charge a toll on I-70 east of I-435, even if that portion of I-70 is technically part of the Turnpike. It would slow down traffic in the metro. The Turnpike isn't designed to get around in the cities, it's designed to get from one city to another. The way it is designed, it doesn't form the basis of the highway beltways around Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City, but instead skirts the city on the edge. So you hop on the Turnpike if you want to go from Wichita to Topeka, but not so much if you want to go from one side of Wichita to the other side.

The Kansas Turnpike is completely self-funded by the tolls that are collected on it, so I guess you could look at it as saving some tax dollars.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
6,737 posts, read 7,737,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samantha S View Post
This came as a revelation to you?
What is your point other than just wanting to insert smack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeStater View Post
The story about the Turnpike ending at the Oklahoma state line is an interesting bit of history. Pretty strange story. For the record, I don't really like the Kansas Turnpike. I'm not a big fan of toll roads. I would not take it unless absolutely necessary. I think it would be dumb to charge a toll on I-70 east of I-435, even if that portion of I-70 is technically part of the Turnpike. It would slow down traffic in the metro. The Turnpike isn't designed to get around in the cities, it's designed to get from one city to another. The way it is designed, it doesn't form the basis of the highway beltways around Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City, but instead skirts the city on the edge. So you hop on the Turnpike if you want to go from Wichita to Topeka, but not so much if you want to go from one side of Wichita to the other side.

The Kansas Turnpike is completely self-funded by the tolls that are collected on it, so I guess you could look at it as saving some tax dollars.
I hate urban tolled highways with a passion. They are like building walls in a metro area. Raise the gas tax and be done with it.

I'm just surprised that it's not a toll in Wyandotte County. It's good that it's not, I agree. I'm not sure I buy into the entire KS Turnpike is self sufficient either (no federal funds go to it). It think that may be one reason it is free in WyCo because they get some federal funding for that stretch.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
6,357 posts, read 7,480,134 times
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I lived in rural Kansas at that time (early 50s) and was in the lower elementary grades. I still remember reading about it in my "Weekly Reader". (Is that still published?) What I recall most vividly was the diagram of the "4-leaf-clover" interchange in Topeka or somewhere along the way. All that was still pretty new, at least for us country bumpkins. IIRC, the fanciest intersection we had in our local town (Sabetha) was decorated with a pretty light that flashed amber on two sides and red on the other two sides.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
8,060 posts, read 10,031,762 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
I still remember reading about it in my "Weekly Reader". (Is that still published?)
Yes.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 08:15 PM
 
Location: The Plains
5,641 posts, read 4,320,631 times
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There used to be a toll both on the 18th street expwy. The 18th street expressway is a nice road to get you through KCK. They had to have made a ton of money collecting dimes on that road. it was a route between hwy 50 and the air port
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Unread 12-18-2010, 06:48 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,795 times
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I have heard that the original plan and promise was that the toll booths would come down once construction was paid for. Rumor or fact? Chad
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