Kansas - Transportation

Transportation

Kansas is served by two Interstate highways with one beltway, two spur routes, and three bypasses, with over a total of 874 miles (1,407 km) in all. The first section of Interstate in the nation was opened on I-70 just west of Topeka on November 14, 1956. I-70 is a major east/west route connecting to St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, in the east and Denver, Colorado, in the west. Cities along this route (from east to west) include Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, Junction City, Salina, Hays, and Colby. I-35 is a major north/south route connecting to Des Moines, Iowa, in the north and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the south. Cities along this route (from north to south) include Kansas City (and suburbs), Ottawa, Emporia, El Dorado, and Wichita.

Spur routes serve as connections between the two major routes. I-135, a north/south route, connects I-70 at Salina to I-35 at Wichita. I-335, a northeast/southwest route, connects I-70 at Topeka to I-35 at Emporia. I-335 and portions of I-35 and I-70 make up the Kansas Turnpike. Bypasses include I-470 around Topeka, I-235 around Wichita, and I-670 in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. I-435 is a beltway around the Kansas City Metropolitan Area while I-635 bypasses through Kansas City, Kansas.

US Route 69 runs north and south, from Minnesota to Texas. The highway passes through the eastern section of Kansas, from the Kansas City area, through Louisburg, Fort Scott, Frontenac, Pittsburg, and Baxter Springs before entering Oklahoma.

Kansas also has the second largest state highway system in the country after California. This is because of the high number of counties and county seats (105) and the intertwining of them all.

In January 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced the new Kansas 511 traveler information service. By dialing 511, callers will get access to information about road conditions, construction, closures, detours and weather conditions for the state highway system. Weather and road condition information is updated every 15 minutes.

The state's only major commercial (Class C) airport is Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, located along US-54 on the western edge of the city. Manhattan Regional Airport in Manhattan offers daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, making it the second-largest commercial airport in the state. Most air travelers in northeastern Kansas fly out of Kansas City International Airport, located in Platte County, Missouri. For those in the far western part of the state, Denver International Airport is a popular option. Connecting flights are also available from smaller Kansas airports in Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend, Hays, Hutchinson, and Salina. Forbes Field in Topeka sustained commercial flights on Allegiant Air for short period of time until that service was terminated in 2007.

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