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Developers hold groundbreaking ceremony on Rock Island Bridge project

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Local leaders and developers held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday on a multimillion-dollar project that will benefit both Kansas and Missouri.

The old Rock Island railroad bridge is set to reopen in spring 2024 after it’s transformed into a new entertainment destination.

Crews built the Rock Island Bridge in 1905. It was used to get cattle in and out of Kansas City’s West Bottoms.

Now project developers say to imagine a park on the bridge. Soon, there will be 300 yards of coffee shops, bars, restaurants and even event space built on Rock Island bridge.

There will also be a path for bikers and walkers to get across the Kansas River — a first-of-its-kind project.

The $12 million project aims to draw attention and people back to Kansas City’s West Bottoms as well as the Kansas River.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, has already committed $2 million to this development. The money will be repaid with taxes collected on the bridge. Other investors have also contributed to the project.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly attended the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, and other leaders from both Kansas and Missouri joined her.