Mid America Regional Council asks public to weigh in on what they should do with north side of downtown loop

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The future of the downtown loop is up to you.

City leaders want your opinion on whether to renovate the northern part of I-70 – or get rid of it completely.

If you drive the north loop of I-70 or use the Buck O’Neil Bridge, then you are being asked to fill out a survey. The Mid America Regional Council wants your opinion before deciding the future of the downtown loop.

They are considering several options to the northern loop of I-70. One is to do nothing at all. A second option is to do some minor fixes to make it safer. A third alternative would be to reduce the number of lanes from three to two.

The final option is to get rid of this part of I-70 completely. With this option, drivers would get off on either Sixth Street or Independence Avenue to get to the River Market area. They would then build businesses on the land where the North 70 loop currently sits.

M.A.R.C. also want to know your thoughts on the future of the Buck O’Neil Bridge. If they rehab it, they will have to shut it down for two years. It would cost $50-million and extend the life of this bridge for another 35 years.

The other option would be to build a brand new bridge. If they did that, the current bridge could stay open as they did the work, but the cost would quadruple to $200-million - though this new bridge would be pedestrian friendly and last 75-to-100 years.

To make your opinion known, go to this website: beyondtheloopkc.com.