Buck O'Neil Bridge History

The John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Memorial Bridge (formerly the Broadway Bridge), is a triple arch bridge carrying U.S. 169 over the Missouri River serving as a key regional connection between downtown Kansas City and communities north of the river.

While safe, the bridge is nearing the end of its projected lifespan. Opened in 1956, the bridge recently celebrated its 60th year of operation.  Since that time, the neighborhoods and communities on both sides of the bridge have changed significantly and now nearly 50,000 vehicles use the bridge daily.

The Buck O’Neil Bridge recently underwent a short-term rehabilitation to extend its service life. However, a new bridge is needed to provide a crossing that will support continued use well into the future.  

To facilitate the evaluation of an improved river crossing, MoDOT recently conducted an environmental study. The study is in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act which is required before major improvements to the crossing can be made. The environmental study focused on the U.S. 169 corridor from Missouri Route 9 to Interstate 35, identified as a segment of independent utility in the Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study completed in 2018 by the Mid-America Regional Council, Kansas City, Missouri, and MoDOT. The Buck O’Neil Bridge is part of that corridor. The environmental study built on the data collected during the recently completed PEL study to further evaluate options to improve the crossing of U.S. 169 over the Missouri River in Kansas City.

The environmental study, which concluded in late 2019, evaluated and documented the potential impacts to both the surrounding infrastructure and community and will require significant public input in the coming months. As part of the new study, potential impacts to historic structures, including the existing Buck O’Neil Bridge and other resources in the study area were evaluated in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and as applicable Section 4(f) of the DOT Act. The evaluation of impacts to public parks, open spaces, cultural assets, and people and businesses in and around the area were also conducted.

A link to the news page with press releases is HERE.