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Bridge tour highlights South Kansas City history

Visiting campers from the Hillcrest Community Center Day Camp joined south Kansas City history buffs on a walk through the area’s rich past this morning.

The assembled southlanders joined City of Kansas City, Mo., Sixth District Councilmen John Sharp and Scott Taylor to see a set of new interpretive panels installed on the new Red Bridge spanning the Blue River. The series of panels, which illustrate the history of the historic river crossing through the lives of ten 19th-century visitors and residents of the area, was installed on the bridge in mid-July, prior to the event.

“We have a real pioneer spirit in South Kansas City, and I don’t think we tell that story well enough sometimes,” said Councilman Taylor. “I’m hoping that, with the opening of the new old Red Bridge and the historical panels, we can attract people to come take a look at our history.”

The panels were the final touch to an extensive improvement project along Red Bridge Road. The 18-month construction project improved 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.

Major construction on the bridge completed last year, and the final rehabilitation of the old bridge will wrap up in late summer 2012.

Councilman Sharp praised the aesthetic and structural work, describing them as unified parts of an important improvement.

“We wanted more than a bridge,” Councilman Sharp said. “We wanted something that would reflect the history of the area and that would be beautiful. Everyone agrees that this is a beautiful bridge. More importantly, it does reflect the history of this area.”

Media inquiries and other requests for more information about this project should be directed to Sean Demory, Public Works Department, at 816-513-0059 or email

Media note: Photos from the event will be available for download on July 27 after 6 p.m. at Photos may be used with full attribution.


City News Releases - 2012

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