Three years ago the Kenneth Road Bridge was removed and transferred to Grandview for use as a pedestrian bridge. Photo by Adam Vescovi.
Bids taken for Kenneth Road Bridge
By Jill Draper
Finally! Bids were submitted at the end of October for rebuilding Kenneth Road bridge over the Blue River on the border of Missouri and Kansas. A contract for the estimated $4.75 million project should be approved in three months and construction should begin by late winter, according to the Kansas City Public Works Department.
A bridge at the same spot was damaged by a truck in 1996 and a one-lane temporary replacement for it (a portable pre-fab Bailey bridge) was hit by another truck in 2008. The crossing that connects Kenneth Road to 151st Street has been closed ever since.
When local officials gathered there three years ago, they held a ceremony to kick-off plans to transfer the damaged structure to Grandview to be rebuilt as a pedestrian bridge connecting Longview Trail to the historic Truman farmhouse. A new and improved two-lane bridge with a sidewalk would be built across the Blue River by fall 2018, they said.
But that didn’t happen, to the dismay of residents in the area who have had to drive an alternate route for more than 10 years.
Why the most recent delay? Kansas City officials say it was caused by a holdup in the transfer of land from the Blue River Parkway. Since Jackson County used federal funds to help acquire the park, the removal of some land for the bridge embankment, roadway realignment and temporary easements triggered an environmental review. And there are many players involved—the new bridge is being financed by Kansas City, Jackson County, Overland Park and the Loch Lloyd neighborhood, with the Missouri Department of Transportation joining in as part of the approval process.
Meanwhile, Grandview has seen its own delay in rebuilding the old bridge along a section of the Presidential Trail which connects to Longview Lake Trail near Truman’s farmhouse.
“We still plan on putting it up in at least one location, and we actually have enough to put two bridges up. Getting some reasonable prices has been difficult,” says Valerie Poindexter, Grandview communications manager. She says it’s likely the project will happen in 2020 or 2021.