KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Plans to repair the Kansas Avenue Bridge in Kansas City, Kansas are beginning to move forward.

The bridge from River Park Drive to American Royal Drive on the KCK side, was closed in July of 2022 following an inspection.

Wyandotte County commissioners voted Tuesday 6-0 to approve a resolution committing the Unified Government up to $30 million as a matching portion of the MEGA Infrastructure grant for the Kansas Avenue Bridge.

This item will now go to the full commission for approval in April, according to Dave Reno with UG Public Works.

The MEGA grant supports large complex projects that are difficult to fund by other means and likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The deadline for grant submission is in May with awards being announced in November.

Reno said the short-term repair process for the Kansas Avenue bridge continues. Design plans are being developed now.

The repair project should be let in August, with repairs being initiated in September. The bridge should reopen to limited traffic in February 2024, weather permitting.

This approval does not include the Central Avenue bridge, which has been closed since Feb. 1, 2021. However, commissioners did discuss the Central Avenue Bridge at the meeting Tuesday.

The Kansas Department of Transportation will conduct a 9-month study on the Central Avenue/I-70 interchange. KDOT intends to update or reconfigure this interchange, and whether the Central Avenue bridge is vehicular or something else will impact their final design decision(s).

If the bridge is not vehicular, it may benefit the Unified Government or KDOT in some fashion, according to Reno. What the benefit could be will become more apparent after KDOT completes its study.

The county engineer will talk to KDOT about it more in April and then report that information back to commissioners. KDOT’s discovery report should be available in December later this year.

KDOT was forced to close the southbound K-5 bridge between 10th Street and Sunshine Road this week in KCK because it was deemed too dangerous. KDOT has not said how long the repairs are expected to take.

The Mill Street Bridge in KCK has been closed since Feb. 27 after a truck carrying an excavator crashed into the overpass on I-70. KDOT, who owns the bridges, has programmed an emergency repair project for the damaged bridge and is currently working on plans for that repair. A letting date for this emergency bridge project has not yet been determined.

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Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration announced over $500 million has been made available to Kansas for 2023 for infrastructure investments.