KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Construction continues on a $12 million project in Kansas City, Kansas.
Thursday morning crews raised the central truss of the Rock Island Bridge.
Crews built the Rock Island Bridge in 1905. It was used to get cattle in and out of Kansas City’s West Bottoms.
But it will soon be home to a new entertainment district.
Crews needed to raise the bridge because of a requirement from the Army Corps of Engineers. They raised the bridge 3 feet and 4 inches to meet the current 750-year flood standards.
Developers said raising the bridge will also give them more room for the project.
“A lot of bridges up and down the river are being raised above the 750-year flood plain, but this gives us more room and also raises the view level above the levees,” Flying Truss LLC’s Vice President and CFO Mike Laddin said.
“We’re a river city, but because of historical reasons we don’t have good ways to create with our river, either the Kansas River or the Missouri River,” Flying Truss LLC founder Mike Zeller said. “This is a great spot right here to do that.”
Developers held the official groundbreaking ceremony in May
Renderings show the project will include event spaces, bars, kitchens, coffee shops, public seating and more.
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.
Developers hope to reopen the old Rock Island Bridge in spring 2024.