Government & Politics

KC plans enhancements for Grand Boulevard bridge replacement downtown

Kansas City is planning enhancements in connection with the Grand Boulevard bridge replacement downtown.
Kansas City is planning enhancements in connection with the Grand Boulevard bridge replacement downtown. dpulliam@kcstar.com

The Kansas City Council on Thursday approved $1.2 million for enhancements to the Grand Boulevard bridge over Interstate 670, which will be replaced later this year.

The city would spend up to $1.2 million in capital improvement sales tax dollars to widen the downtown bridge and do other upgrades for pedestrians, bikes and aesthetic benefits. That’s on top of the basic bridge replacement cost, which the state will cover.

The city money would allow for 12-foot-wide sidewalks, widened curb ramps, pedestrian signal push buttons, bike lane striping, enhanced fencing, lighting and reinstallation of existing pedestrian art on the bridge.

“We want the bridge physically wider, so that costs money,” said deputy public works director Ralph Davis. “It’s to make it more functional for pedestrians. … We want bridges that also help the visual appearance of our downtown.”

On May 6, the Missouri Department of Transportation closed the bridge near the Sprint Center due to a structural failure. The department will pay for the basic bridge replacement at an estimated cost of $4.5 million or $5 million. MoDOT expects to bid the project in early August.

City officials said the state transportation department hopes to complete the bridge on a fast track by Dec. 1. Some of the city work will be done during that construction. Part of the city pedestrian work will continue after the bridge reopens to traffic.

Lynn Horsley: 816-226-2058, @LynnHorsley

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