The matchup between two Kansas schools is expected to bring extra traffic to the Turnpike this Thursday, Oct. 14, and will bring extra fans to Lawrence. The annual Sunflower Showdown between the University of Kansas Jayhawks and the Kansas State University Wildcats will be the 100th consecutive meeting between the two teams, and each year this game brings fans for both teams to the game and the city it is hosted in. Along with extra travelers, the game will bring extra troopers to the area to assist, as well. Troopers will help with traffic control, security at the game, and a saturation patrol post-game.
Following the game, the Kansas Highway Patrol will be conducting a RAVE (Roving Aggressive Violation Enforcement) saturation patrol in Lawrence in an effort to help reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads and encourage safe driving practices. A RAVE is a saturation patrol that takes place when many troopers converge on a specific area looking for any drivers who are violating Kansas law. The RAVE deployment will be funded by an Impaired Driving Deterrence Program (IDDP) grant, courtesy of the Kansas Department of Transportation.
For travelers coming to the game, there are some traffic considerations with construction on the Kansas Turnpike. The East Lawrence Toll Plaza at milepost 204 was reopened on October 6th. Although it is reopened, it is still part of an active construction zone and drivers should be alert to construction.
The Kansas River bridge construction project is still ongoing between mileposts 201 and 204 on the Turnpike. All traffic is on the new bridge, with two lanes of traffic in each direction. A concrete median divides the eastbound and westbound lanes.
There is a roadway replacement project going on between mileposts 204 and 209. All traffic is on the westbound side, one lane in each direction, with cones dividing eastbound and westbound traffic.
Travelers should be prepared for delays, and patience will be key as the additional traffic navigates through the construction on the Turnpike and into Lawrence. If you plan on celebrating before, during, or after the game, make sure you designate a sober driver beforehand. Don’t forget to buckle your seatbelts, and to secure children in the appropriate child safety seats, they are your best defense if you are involved in a crash.