NORTH KANSAS CITY and KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon marks the opening of safe new bicycle and pedestrian accommodation on Route 9 across the Missouri River at the Heart of America Bridge.
MoDOT, state, county and local elected officials, and leaders of the trails, bicycle and pedestrian communities participated in the completion ceremony following six months of construction.
Bicyclists and pedestrians now have a dedicated, safe route between 10th Avenue and Burlington in North Kansas City and Kansas City's River Market area. The $2.88 million project
adds bicycle and pedestrian accommodation to the Heart of America Bridge, which connects Downtown Kansas City with North Kansas City via Route 9.
Improvements include a 10-foot-wide, barrier-protected multi-use path for bicycles and pedestrians, signage for motorized vehicles to share the road with bicyclists, and sidewalks that connect to the bridge path on either side. Comanche Construction Co. is the general contractor that completed the $2.88 million contract to retrofit the 25-year-old bridge. Engineering consultants Burns & McDonnell designed the project. Thanks to funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the bicycle/pedestrian project was completed this year in conjunction with already scheduled bridgework.
The bridge is the result of cooperation among communities to widen options for non-motorized transportation. In 2006, MoDOT conducted a bicycle and pedestrian feasibility study as part of the Interstate 29/35 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The study team included representatives from Kansas City, North Kansas City, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), Missouri Bicycle Federation, Bridging the Gap, Federal Highway Administration, Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and MoDOT. The study team picked the Heart of America Bridge (Route 9) as the preferred river crossing for bicycles and pedestrians based on factors including safety, lowest environmental impact, construction cost, maintenance, and best use of land. The bridge improvements consider the needs of pedestrians, casual riders, the advanced cyclist, and motorists.
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