The U.S. Department of Transportation rejected a bid for a $60 million grant supporting Kansas City’s effort to build a park atop Downtown’s South Loop.

Three entities lead the effort: the city of Kansas City, the Port Authority of Kansas City and the Downtown Council of Kansas City. The estimated $170 million project called South Loop Link would cap four blocks atop Interstate 70 with public park space.

In the USDOT’s “FY 2022 Mega Ratings Report,” officials did not issue a recommendation for the grant, pointing to four shortcomings: cost-effectiveness, lack of “stable and dependable” sources of non-federal funding, capacity to carry out the project, and the necessary data collection and analysis. 

That’s not to say the project is dead.

At the end of December, the South Loop Link received a $28.6 million federal grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation. Loews Hotels & Co. pledged $5 million in April. In addition, backers continue to seek private and state support. 

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