The project to improve and update that freeway intersection of Interstates 435- 470 and U.S. 71 (future I-49)- known as The Grandview Triangle- was completed in 2007 at a cost of around one-third of a BILLION dollars.
With the massive sinkhole in what was the westbound I-470/northbound U.S. 71 ramp to westbound I-435 only 3 years after the completion of the entire project- questions have surfaced...
Was there shoddy engineering of the freeway project?
How the HELL are we in eastern and southeastern Jackson county going to get to Kansas faster than wagon trains on the Santa Fe Trail?
All this started around July 8th when MoDOT workers were made aware of a sinking of the pavement on the north side of the 4-lane westbound I-470 ramp just east of one of the overpasses over northbound U.S. 71.
MoDot closed down that lane- then another until Friday- when the sinking pavement collapsed into a hole that was almost 100 feet long and nearly 30 feet wide.
Part of a project-constructed concrete embankment on the north side above a creek had given way- causing the massive sinkhole.
To be fair- this creek was a raging torrent several times in June and early July as it drains the area around- north and west of Ruskin Heights where a weather station had recorded nearly 18-inches of rain in June.
Yet engineering should have taken into account previous weather history of flash flooding on this creek and the attendant maximum possible streamflows.
In plain words- you build to account for a wide range of Mother Nature's moods in this area.
Now- the commute for those who would go west into Kansas from either Lee's Summit or Grandview because the repair of this growing sinkhole will take "months" MoDot says.
Red Bridge is closed west of Blue River Road- the latter being closed north of Red Bridge because of ANOTHER sinkhole.
Bannister Road is one lane over the Big Blue river west of Grandview Road for bridge deck replacement.
87th Street is closed west of I-435/Hillcrest.
Missouri 150 highway is under construction from U.S. 71 eastward to Lee's Summit.
Grandviewers can go west on M-150 west of U.S. 71 free and clear- or take Blue Ridge Boulevard west.
If I took I-470 west into Kansas- think I'd either take I-435 or Blue Ridge north to Bannister- then turn around to go south on I-435 or U.S. 71 to the westbound I-435 ramps.
Eastbound I-435 to I-470 traffic is NOT affected.
Here's hoping that the sinkhole is the ONLY problem detected in this massive and expensive project.