KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s now a plan to pay for a warning system that could prevent drivers from hitting a low bridge that has a reputation for destroying tractor-trailers and other tall vehicles.
Kansas City Terminal Railway, or KCT, confirmed it reached an agreement with Kansas City, Missouri, to install an overhead warning curtain on each side of the Independence Avenue Bridge. The two will share the cost of the project.
KCT says it decided on the warning curtain device after studying the ones installed in San Antonio. KCT says the city has data that the devices are effective in reducing bridge collisions, like those that often happen at the Independence Avenue Bridge.
The Independence Avenue Bridge was built in 1912, and is 12 feet tall. The issue is that the standard tractor trailer stands 13.5 feet high.
Despite the number of times it’s been hit, KCT says the bridge remains structurally sound.
The organization studied different options to replace or raise the height of the bridge to allow taller trucks to pass under it, KCT says either option would cost tens of millions of dollars and isn’t feasible due to the costs.
Kansas City even considered lowering the road under the bridge, according to KCT, but that isn’t possible because of flooding concerns and where utilities are placed under the street.
City crews will be in charge of installing the warning curtains. There is nota hard timeframe for when they will be installed, but it could be as soon as early next year.
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