KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Transportation announced plans for a six-month partial closure of the Buck O’Neill Bridge on Thursday.
The $6 million repair job means, starting in July of next year, commuters will not be able to travel south on the bridge, heading into Kansas City.
From July to December 2018, commuters from the Northland will have to find an alternate route into the city — like taking the Bond Bridge on Interstate 29/Interstate 35.
It’s the first step in a two-phase plan to ultimately replace the Buck O’Neill Bridge.
MoDOT and Kansas City officials anticipate the cost of a new bridge will be $200 million.
“This project is to rehabilitate the bridge and get us through until a decision can be made about a new bridge,” said Matt Killion with MoDOT.
Officials aren’t sure how the state and city will come up with the $200 million needed for a new bridge.
One proposal considered was putting toll booths back on the bridge, which the city removed in 1991. On Thursday, Ron Achelpol with the Mid-America Regional Council downplayed that possibility.
“There are a number of officials in the area that are very proud of the fact that they were able to take the tolls off the bridge years ago,” Achelpol said. “So there’s likely to be some opposition to imposing tolls in the future.”