Between the world wars, toll roads and turnpikes became a popular way for states to keep pace with Americans’ growing infatuation with the automobile. But more important than the wants of the country are its needs. And the idea made sense to many Kansans for several reasons.
While the Chamber wanted to connect the three largest cities in Kansas for economic development, other proponents knew how such a link would also make life easier and safer for Kansans who regularly traveled dangerous two-lane highways.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, the Turnpike compiled its story into a 40-page book. Read the Turnpike’s history here in PDF format, from its inception to current day projects. Click on an image to download a section.
The Eastern Terminal at milepost 217 leads to the end of the Kansas Turnpike at milepost 236. From there the road travels to the heart of Kansas City. Though the Turnpike spans the entire state of Kansas from north to south, short distance commuters also make up a considerable percentage of Turnpike customers, particularly in the urban corridor stretching through Topeka, Lawrence, and Kansas City.
Kansas Turnpike Authority
236 miles from Kansas City, Kansas, to the Oklahoma border south of Wichita
Six: near Lawrence, Topeka, Emporia, Matfield Green, Towanda and Belle Plaine
Started with 14 and currently have 22
April 7, 1953
December 31, 1954
October 25, 1956