Hutton & Leavenworth Full Closure

Published on March 26, 2024

A visualization of the Hutton & Leavenworth intersection as seen from about

Phase 2 of the Hutton & Leavenworth intersection modernization project is underway! Phase two requires a complete closure of the intersection, which is expected to begin April 1, weather depending. The intersection will reopen by August 2024.

This marks a critical stage in the project directly north of the Kansas Speedway at Legends Outlets, as the intersection will be closed to all traffic during this phase. The closure is a significant step towards completing a modern roundabout to enhance the area's safety and traffic flow.

During the closure, motorists are advised to use two detour routes: Donahoo Road to the north and Parallel Parkway to the south. The intersection is tentatively scheduled to reopen to traffic by August 2024, with the completion of the remaining work outside of the roadway anticipated by Fall 2024.

The project began in January 2024, with Leavenworth Road closing between Hutton Road and 107th Street (Phase 1). This initial phase allowed the intersection to remain open for traffic traveling north and south along Hutton Road and to the west along Leavenworth Road.

The decision to construct the roundabout came after evaluating the existing intersection and identifying critical needs for safety and traffic improvements. This includes addressing right-angle crash incidents, often called “T-bone crashes,” which are typically more severe than other traffic accidents. The evaluation also highlighted visibility issues, lane and traffic signal capacity needs, and the opportunity to introduce new multi-modal features, such as improved pedestrian and bicycle pathways, amidst continued traffic volume growth.

Ongoing regional growth has significantly driven this project. The new modern roundabout will reduce risks for both motorists and pedestrians, enhance connectivity and traffic flows, and support future expansion as the community grows.

Motorists should be prepared for delays and are urged to use alternate routes during peak travel times. Drivers are also reminded to use caution and reduce their speed while traveling through the construction area. Traffic control measures will be in place to guide motorists around all closures.

For additional details, visit the project webpage at To provide feedback and speak with a project manager, email or call 3-1-1.

Learn more about modern roundabout safety and navigation:

How will the roundabout enhance motorist safety?

Roundabouts are preferable to traditional intersections for many reasons. When designed and properly implemented, roundabouts can significantly improve safety for motorists:

  1. Reduced Conflict Points: Traditional intersections have multiple points where vehicle paths can cross, leading to potential collisions. Roundabouts reduce these conflict points, thus decreasing the chances of accidents.

  2. Lower Speeds: The geometry of a roundabout naturally requires drivers to reduce their speed as they approach and navigate through it. Lower speeds mean that, even if a collision does occur, it is likely to be less severe than at higher speeds.

  3. Elimination of Head-on and High-speed Right-angle Collisions: The circular design of roundabouts ensures that all traffic moves in the same direction, eliminating the possibility of head-on or high-speed right-angle (or "T-bone") collisions.

  4. Simpler Decision-making: Unlike traditional intersections where drivers might have to make split-second decisions about whether to stop, go, or wait, roundabouts usually only require drivers to yield and then merge when it's safe.

  5. Reduced Severity of Crashes: When accidents do occur in roundabouts, they tend to be of the sideswipe or rear-end variety, which are generally less severe than the types of crashes that occur at traditional intersections.

  6. Pedestrian Safety: While not directly related to motorists, the design of modern roundabouts often includes pedestrian crosswalks set one car-length back from the yield line. This makes it easier for drivers to deal with pedestrians and other vehicles separately.

  7. Fewer Stops and Shorter Delays: This doesn't just improve efficiency; it can also enhance safety. When vehicles move smoothly without unnecessary stops, there's less chance of rear-end collisions.

  8. Accommodation of Larger Vehicles: Many roundabouts are designed with a truck apron—a raised section of pavement around the central island—that provides additional space for large vehicles' rear wheels, ensuring they can navigate the roundabout safely.

How will the roundabout enhance pedestrian safety?

Roundabouts are preferable to traditional intersections for many reasons. When designed and properly implemented, roundabouts can significantly improve safety for pedestrians & motorists:

  1. Reduced Vehicle Speeds: One of the primary design characteristics of a roundabout is that it forces vehicles to reduce their speeds. Slower vehicle speeds give drivers more time to see and react to pedestrians.

  2. Crossing Distance: Pedestrian crossings at roundabouts are typically shorter because they only need to cross one direction of traffic at a time. This reduced crossing distance decreases the time pedestrians are in the roadway, reducing exposure to vehicles.

  3. Refuge Islands: Many modern roundabouts incorporate pedestrian refuge islands between traffic lanes. These islands provide a safe place for pedestrians to stop and assess traffic before crossing the next lane.

  4. Fewer Conflict Points: Roundabouts reduce the number of potential conflict points between vehicles and pedestrians. At a traditional intersection, there are multiple points where vehicles can come into conflict with pedestrians. In contrast, roundabouts have fewer of these points, primarily at the entrance and exit of the roundabout.

  5. Predictable Movements: The circular nature of roundabouts means that vehicles are predictable in their movements, making it easier for pedestrians to judge gaps in traffic and cross safely.

  6. Elimination of Right-turn-on-red: Traditional intersections often allow vehicles to turn right after stopping at a red light. This can lead to conflicts with pedestrians crossing the street. At a roundabout, this conflict is eliminated since there are no traffic signal phases.

  7. Increased Visibility: The geometric design of roundabouts often provides better visibility for both drivers and pedestrians. As drivers approach a roundabout, they are more alert and looking for potential conflicts, which enhances pedestrian visibility.

  8. Reduced Severity of Potential Collisions: If a collision does occur between a vehicle and a pedestrian at a roundabout, the reduced vehicle speeds mean the collision is likely to be less severe than at a traditional intersection.

  9. Sidewalk Continuity: Sidewalks or pathways around a roundabout provide a continuous path for pedestrians, maintaining a separation from vehicular traffic.

  10. Signage and Markings: Proper signage and pavement markings at and around roundabouts guide pedestrians and alert drivers to potential pedestrian crossings.

In essence, the design and operation of modern roundabouts inherently prioritize pedestrian safety, making them safer environments for pedestrians compared to traditional intersections.

How do I navigate the roundabout as a driver or a pedestrian?

For drivers, always yield to traffic already in the roundabout and follow the provided signage. Large trucks may use the entire width of the roundabout, so give them ample space. Bicyclists and pedestrians have designated pathways and should adhere to safety protocols and signage.

To see how vehicles will navigate the Leavenworth & Hutton roundabout, check out this video:

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

  1. Approach with Caution: As you approach the roundabout, be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards. This includes checking for vehicles that might be approaching or already in the roundabout.

  2. Use Designated Crosswalks: Modern roundabouts typically have pedestrian crosswalks located one car-length back from the yield line. Always use these designated crosswalks to cross the road.

  3. Look Both Ways: Even though traffic will move to the right, it is important to look both directions before crossing. Doing so will help you identify possible safety issues before crossing the street.

  4. Cross One Approach at a Time: Roundabouts are designed to allow pedestrians to cross one direction of traffic at a time. This means you'll cross to a "pedestrian refuge," then wait as necessary before crossing the next section of road.

  5. Make Eye Contact: Before crossing, try to make eye contact with drivers if possible. This ensures that they've seen you and are more likely to stop.

  6. Wait for a Safe Gap: Wait on the sidewalk or the pedestrian refuge until there is a safe gap in traffic. Remember, vehicles already in the roundabout have the right-of-way.

  7. Do Not Cross to the Central Island: Whether single or multi-lane, never cross by using the roundabouts central island. Instead, use the pedestrian crossings located around the outside of the roundabout.

  8. Be Aware of Bicyclists: Be aware of bicyclists who might be using these lanes or paths.

  9. Stay Alert: Even if you have the right-of-way as a pedestrian, always stay alert and be prepared for vehicles that might not yield.

Safety Tips for Motorists

  1. Approach with Caution: As you near the roundabout, reduce your speed. Look out for signs or road markings that provide guidance on lane usage and yielding.

  2. Yield to Pedestrians: Before entering the roundabout, always yield to any pedestrians in the crosswalk.

  3. Look Both Directions: Although traffic will approach from the left, you should always look both directions before entering the roundabout.

  4. Yield to Traffic Inside the Roundabout: Vehicles already in the roundabout have the right-of-way. Wait until there is a safe gap in the traffic before entering.

  5. Enter the Roundabout: Once you see a safe gap in traffic, enter the roundabout. You now have the right-of-way over vehicles that are approaching the roundabout.

  6. Keep to the Lane: Stay within the single lane and do not attempt to overtake over vehicles.

  7. Signal Your Exit: Before you reach the exit you intend to take, use your turn signal to indicate your intentions. This helps other drivers understand your intentions and can prevent potential accidents.

  8. Yield to Pedestrians: As you enter or exit the roundabout, be sure to yield to any pedestrians who might be in the crosswalk.

  9. Do Not Stop Inside the Roundabout: Do not stop except to avoid a collision once inside the roundabout. If you missed your exit, continue around the roundabout until you reach it again.

Are roundabouts safe for emergency vehicles?

Absolutely! Roundabouts have long been recognized for their inherent safety features for everyday motorists and emergency vehicles. Their design naturally regulates traffic flow and reduces high-speed collisions. These factors play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of emergency vehicles that need to navigate intersections quickly.

We've gone a step further for the Hutton Road & Leavenworth Road Roundabout. Recognizing the critical role that emergency services play in our community, we have collaborated closely with the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department during the design phase. This partnership ensured that the roundabout is specifically tailored to accommodate large vehicles, such as Pumpers.

This proactive approach guarantees that in times of emergencies, our Fire Department can swiftly and safely navigate the roundabout without impediments. The design ensures a smooth passage for such large vehicles and maintains the safety standards for other road users. Through such meticulous planning and collaboration, the roundabout promises efficiency, safety, and rapid response times for our emergency services.