Building demolition planned to clear the way for Buck O’Neil Bridge replacement


The Buck O’Neil Bridge

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Things will be booming near the Missouri River beginning Tuesday morning.

Crews plan to demolish one or two old buildings near the Buck O’Neil Bridge. The process is expected to begin around 7:30 a.m., as long as the weather cooperates.

The Missouri Department of Transportation said the buildings need to come down to make way for the new bridge crews will build in the coming years.

Archeologists have spent weeks working near West Fourth and Washington streets, as well as other areas near the bridge. They searched for artifacts that may have been left behind from early settlers in Kansas City. MoDOT said the archeologists found fragments of red brick believed to be the floor of a fireworks factory that operated in the area in 1909. MoDOT said so far, no other significant items have been found in the buildings that will be demolished.

MoDOT plans to have crews salvage lumber, bricks, and other materials from the buildings on the demolition list. MoDOT also said the buildings that will be torn down are not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

While the demolition isn’t expected to impact traffic on the bridge, other preparations underway in the area may cause a few headaches.

The ramp from northbound Interstate 35 to westbound Interstate 70 will be closed beginning Wednesday at 9 a.m. Crews will inspect the area daily from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. They expect the work to last through September 18 at 3:30 p.m.

The ramp from eastbound I-70 to southbound I-35 will close on Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. for the same bridge inspection work.

MoDOT warns that drivers will need to travel westbound on I-670 to northbound I-35 and circle around to get back on I-70.

The new closures are in addition to the closure of southbound US 169 highway, south of Route 9. Crews are removing guardrail to allow for the pavement to be widened. This is where new ramps onto US 169 highway from Richards Road will eventually be added.

You may also notice barges arriving and cranes being delivered along the river. All of this will be needed to set future bridge piers and build the new bridge. Construction on the bridge is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2022 and be open by late fall 2024.

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