Full article for Wichita Business Journal
The Kellogg expressway expansion project has had a major positive impact on Wichita residents and travelers for the past 30 years. As demonstrated by the Kellogg expansion, when a project is designed and constructed with creativity and collaboration, an urban highway can enhance the quality of life and character of a community without sacrificing safety and mobility. While some residents may bemoan the sight of cones and construction equipment, they signify progress and continued improvement.
Since 1986, 13 miles of Kellogg have been successfully converted to expressway. Consider how that project has improved the daily commute for those traveling eastbound or westbound through our City’s primary corridor. According to the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce, our workforce enjoys an average commute time of 18.7 minutes, which is one of the best in the nation.
Thirty years ago a commute from Tyler in west Wichita to Rock Road on the east side of town could take 45 minutes depending on the traffic signals and time of day. Today, that same commute takes an average of 15 minutes. In 1986, drivers would pass through 20 intersections with traffic signals along that same route. Now there are none.
Eliminating many of Wichita’s most accident prone intersections holds a significant role in the Kellogg expansion success story. More than 69,000 vehicles pass through the intersection of Kellogg and Webb every day, and for three straight years, this intersection recorded more traffic accidents than any other intersection in south central Kansas. Upon completion of the city’s current project at this interchange, Kellogg will expand to a six-lane freeway from the east Wichita exit of the Kansas Turnpike almost to Greenwich Road. The highway will pass under Webb Road, yet eliminating one more set of traffic signals.
Over the past three decades, Wildcat and Sherwood Construction have been fortunate to partner with the City of Wichita on the majority of the 11 major Kellogg expansion projects. Just as our City’s mobility has improved, Wildcat Companies has evolved and improved our capabilities. Enhanced technology has resulted in improved communication with the traveling public and the owners of our jobs. GPS modeling has increased productivity and provided more accuracy in the field. Additionally, Wildcat Construction recognizes that our long-term success depends upon ensuring the safety of our workers, owners and the public. All supervisor level employees will be OSHA 30 Hour Trained, and all work on our job sites follows Wildcat’s comprehensive safety guidelines.
An innovative component of the Kellogg expansion project at Oliver Street was the inclusion of the sundial bas-relief which has become one of the nation’s most frequently cited examples of the integration of public art onto a highway corridor. Looking forward to the next 30 years, residents can anticipate more construction projects which continue to improve the quality of life and character of our community. Wildcat Construction is proud to play our role in supporting this progress.