GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- Traveling between Kansas and Missouri will soon be much easier thanks to a new bridge that is being built on 151st Street between Holmes and Kenneth Road, and the old bridge it’s replacing will be put to a new use.
The project will mark the second old bridge Grandview has rescued and has plans to restore. When complete the restored bridge will span a nearby creek as part of a new trail being built in 2017 near Longview Lake connecting the Truman Farm Home off Harry Truman Drive to trails at the lake.
Officials are glad the old bridge, called the Bailey Bridge and built by soldiers during World War II, will get a second life.
Dismantling begins at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday after a short ceremony. The parts will be shipped it to Alabama to be refurbished. The steel will be cleaned and the wood on the deck will be replaced. Once complete, the parts will be shipped back to Grandview where crews will reassemble it sometime next year.
The truss bridge has spanned the Blue River on Kenneth Road and for 20 years, it’s connected south Kansas City to Overland Park. But four years ago, a cement truck damaged it and they shut it down. It fell into disrepair as drivers now go up to 150 Highway to get across the state line.
"In terms of shortcuts, for Kansas to come to this park at the soccer fields for example, they've got to go clear around," said Mac Andrew, former Jackson County public works director. "So it's just a nice connection and eventually Overland Park and Leawood will be improving this road onto the west."
Now Overland Park, Kansas City, Jackson County and Loch Lloyd are all joining forces to replace it with a brand new $4-million bridge to once again connect these communities.
"The two states need to be compatible," Andrew said. "I mean, there's the state line, and for years it was always like a wall instead of a sharing. And there's just too much camaraderie for there not to go on between these two states."
As for the new bridge over the Blue River, officials are designing it right now and hope to have it built by the end of next year.
"There's a lot of people involved, and it's pretty complicated," Andrew said. "And you have a river here that you have to make sure it's high enough to get it out of the flooding. So it's a complicated project, but we're going to grind on and get it done."