s highways to be busy for Speedway event

Good luck driving to Kansas City during this race weekend.

Even a Kansas Highway Patrol spokesman couldn’t help a Freudian slip when talking about plans to prevent gridlock around the Kansas Speedway, which is at the intersection of Interstate highways 70 and 435.

“The highway patrol will have additional troopers coming in from outlying areas to work with local officials to ensure traffic moves slowly  I mean smoothly  in and out of the race track,” 2nd Lt. John Eichkorn said.

The influx of troopers will nearly double the highway patrol’s normal presence in the Kansas City area, from 35 to 65 troopers.

With the help of nine roadside electronic message boards, they’ll try to keep thousands of NASCAR-fan bearing vehicles from clogging the highways. Up to 130,000 people are expected for the main race, the Protection One 400, on Sunday.

Drivers who want to avoid the race traffic may have a hard time, Eichkorn said. One better route: Kansas Highway 10 between Lawrence and Kansas City.

But, Eichkorn said, “any alternative routes that would take you north or south of that area will most likely minimize  but not necessarily eliminate  the congestion associated with the race weekend.”

That’s not to say nonrace fans should completely avoid a trip to the city this weekend.

“We don’t want to discourage anybody from traveling,” Eichkorn said. “But do expect delays.”