KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While Kansas City is still trying to secure the funding to put a park over four blocks of I-670 as it passes through downtown, the city is putting out a request for proposals to find an art consultant for the project.

“It’s going to make it a sensory experience for parkgoers of all ages,” said Kansas City Assistant City Manager Melissa Kozakiewicz. “We’re talking about bright colors, creative and unique seating and walking experiences.”

She says that’s why the city is open to any kind of artists or creative person to be part of the project.

Proposals will be accepted over the next few weeks with people on the city’s shortlist being notified before the end of the year.

The city is still about $100 million short of the $217 million price tag for the ambitious project, and Kozakiewicz admits it’s early in the process to focus on the artistic touches. But she says the city hopes that having artistic influence so early will help make it flow together well later.

“What we’re doing here is we’re bringing an artist on at the design stage so that when we’re thinking about every element we can bring art and creativity into it from the beginning,” Kozakiewicz said.

The city hopes to have enough money secured to start getting contractors lined up in early 2024 with construction potentially starting at the end of 2024 and carrying on through 2025.

City officials have said before that getting the South Loop Project done for the World Cup in 2026 is a priority.