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Local leaders celebrate Red Bridge Road improvements

Community leaders, local historians and neighborhood organizers joined City of Kansas City, Mo., staff and elected officials on Friday, Nov. 18 to dedicate an updated bridge on Red Bridge Road.

Sixth District Councilman at large John Sharp praised the work of staff and the community in finishing the project ahead of schedule and under budget. He said that the assembled crowd at Friday’s dedication ceremony represented a fraction of the stakeholders involved in the project since its inception, noting the project’s importance in South Kansas City.

“I’ve been stuck behind trains at this intersection before for two or three minutes,” Sharp said. “Two or three minutes isn’t much if you’re coming home from work but, if you’re waiting on an ambulance or a homeowner waiting for a fire truck, two or three minutes can make all the difference. This is a public safety issue, and that’s why we’ve all pushed for this for so long.”

Sixth District Councilman Scott Taylor echoed the sentiment, explaining that the amenities that were added throughout the construction project would benefit the district as a whole.

“Red Bridge Road’s role in our district can’t be understated,” Taylor said. “It’s important for commuters, but its proximity to Minor Park makes it an important route for bicyclists, joggers and walkers. The new Red Bridge Road will fulfill all those roles for families throughout the district.”

The 18-month construction project improves Red Bridge Road between Holmes Road and Blue River Road, adding curbs, sidewalks and other amenities to the south Kansas City arterial. In addition, the project replaced the current Red Bridge over the Blue River with a new structure more suited to the traffic needs of the area while rehabilitating the old bridge and giving it new life as part of Minor Park’s trail system.

Kansas City Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry said that both bridges would serve as a valuable new amenity for the park and the area. David Jackson, director of archives for the Jackson County Historical Society, agreed, adding that the bridge and the roadway had historical significance stretching back to the initial western expansion of the United States.

Although major construction is complete, motorists will see intermittent lane restrictions in order to install decorative engravings and additional lighting on the bridge.

Media inquiries and other requests for more information about the Red Bridge Road construction project should be directed to Sean Demory, Capital Projects Department, at 816-513-0059.


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