KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Mid-America Regional Council will host a public meeting Thursday on the future of the north side of the downtown loop.
Barbara Hensley with MARC says the meeting will focus on the following points:
- A study of future improvements to the Broadway Bridge/North Loop. She says the Broadway Bridge is 60 years old, so it’s time to start thinking about rehab/replacement in the coming years. She says it makes sense to also study how the bridge connects to downtown at the north loop of I-70.
- A vision for the future – a long-range vision of what the city wants this area to be in 30, 40 or 50 years. She says they're not planning to discuss specific alternatives today.
- Hensley says in the coming months the group will be asking folks for their ideas and input on various alternatives (one of which might be changes to the north loop). Then the group will do some data modeling and analysis to see which ideas are most feasible.
- Ultimately, the study will end with a handful of feasible ideas to move forward to the next step in the long-term planning process.
Getting rid of part of I-70 is an idea that has come up to not only save money but to connect neighborhoods. Part of that plan would be to make the I-70 bridge into KCK an elevated bicycle pedestrian trail.
Urban freeway removal has become a trend and Kansas City's proposal is similar to the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis.
According to supporters of the plan, I-70 out from Columbus Park to Kaw Point in KCK isn't nearly as heavily traveled as I-670 just a few blocks to the south, which provides similar connections for traffic.
Organizers want to hear from everyone involved. The public is invited to Thursday's meeting, which begins at 2 p.m. at the Central Library.