The Broadway Bridge, recently renamed the John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Memorial Bridge, is an triple arch bridge over the Missouri River on US-169 that provides a key regional connection. The North Loop is the portion of I-70 between the Paseo and Broadway/O’Neil Bridges on the north side of Kansas City’s downtown.
The bridge is located near the junction of US-169 and the north loop of I-70. While safe, the bridge is nearing the end of its projected lifespan. Opened in 1956, the bridge celebrated its 60th year of operation. Since that time, the neighborhoods and communities on both sides of the bridge have changed significantly.
It’s a good time to pause and consider how our city and the bridge work today and how we want our city to grow/develop over the next 50 years – and then think about how a new bridge might support that vision.
This project will ask stakeholders to envision the future of the bridge and North Loop of Kansas City.
Why does it matter?
More than 50,000 drivers use the Buck O’Neal Memorial Bridge each day. It is a primary regional artery.
With more than a dozen on and off ramps woven tightly together along the North Loop it’s common for traffic to backup for a half-mile or longer during morning and evening rush hours. And, residents have expressed concerns about pedestrian safety.
The population continues to grow north of the Missouri River, and residential units in the surrounding River Market and downtown are at full occupancy with more apartments under construction. The bridge and supporting highways now run through a thriving and growing set of neighborhoods. This study will ask if there can be a better relationship between the infrastructure and the communities it serves.
What will the study do?
The study will first establish a baseline traffic count and map traffic patterns of the existing bridge, highway, and road network.
Along with stakeholders, neighborhoods, governments, and transportation officials, a series of long-term alternatives will be defined, mapped, and modeled.
Rough cost estimates will be developed for alternatives so that potential next steps can be better understood and evaluated.
The study will also produce a set of reasonable near-term improvement alternatives which could be implemented over time using a phased-approach. The improvements will attempt to preserve future long-term options for the project.