Council members approve 60-day plan for Buck O'Neil Bridge - KCTV5

Council members approve 60-day plan for Buck O'Neil Bridge

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Everyone agreed, shutting the bridge down for two years for repairs would be detrimental to Kansas City's residents and its neighbors. (KCTV5) Everyone agreed, shutting the bridge down for two years for repairs would be detrimental to Kansas City's residents and its neighbors. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

When it comes to the decision about whether to repair or rebuild the Buck O'Neil Bridge, the public and city officials both want the same thing.

The city council's message was loud and clear, the Buck O'Neil Bridge should remain open, but officials do say this is an issue that shouldn't have fallen on their hands, but rather in the hands of the state of Missouri since the state owns the bridge.

One after another, people went before Kansas City's council members in support of one thing.

 “I’m speaking in favor of the resolution. The city must explore ways to replace the Buck O'Neil Bridge, not slap a band-aid on the crumbling historic structure,” said Eric Bunch of Bike Walk KC.

The Buck O’Neil Bridge is more than 60 years old, and with that comes some issues that need to be addressed, sooner rather than later.

The main connector to downtown has substantial rusting on the understructure. Fixing that, along with concrete and joint issues, would cost about $50 million and would inconvenience drivers for two years as the bridge would have to be shut down.

Everyone agreed, shutting the bridge down for two years for repairs would be detrimental to Kansas City's residents and its neighbors.

And council members are on board.

"Just so you all know, I've told my family not to drive across this bridge in its condition because I’m very concerned about it,” Council Member Dan Fowler said.

A brand new bridge would cost the city about $200 million and the problem the city is now facing is finding the additional $150 million needed to complete the project.

Council members agreed to give the city manager 60 days to deliver different options but city leaders say this is something the state should be doing.

They encouraged everyone who attended Thursday’s planning meeting to start calling their representatives and senators.

Residents from Kansas City and surrounding areas hope the 60 days will be the first step in finding a long-term solution for the historic bridge. 

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