Port KC receives $2M grant to begin eliminating out-of-date rail crossings at Berkley Riverfront

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 8:18 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II announced Thursday the Port Authority of Kansas City has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s new Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program.

“As Kansas City continues to develop, far too many of our railroad crossings are now outdated and inconvenient for local residents and small businesses — which not only can lead to frustrating delays for those who are blocked at these crossings, but also to some of the highest rates of railroad derailments in the country,” said Congressman Cleaver. “The Port Authority of Kansas City will receive $2 million in federal funding to begin the process of eliminating out-of-date rail crossings at the Berkley Riverfront, helping to reconnect residents with the ongoing revitalization efforts in the area and boost economic activity.”

The $2,000,000 RCE grant will support planning and development to eliminate three at-grade crossings on Lydia Avenue. The crossings on Lydia Avenue do not have sidewalk or bicycle right-of-way.

“When those railroads were established and built, this was an industrial zone,” said Meredith Hoenes, Port KC’s Director of Communications. “This was a place where they didn’t have to worry about pedestrians or a lot of vehicles.”

Congressman Cleaver said eliminating the at-grade crossings will improve mobility and connectivity for residents in the area and will be critical to the future development of the Riverfront. The Port Authority of Kansas City is providing a 20% non-federal match in funding.

“Making sure that Berkley Riverfront is connected to all of our immediate neighborhoods in a safe manner is a very high priority for us,” Hoenes said. “Shoring up and making that railroad crossing safe for visitors and residents to be able to utilize — that’s our ultimate goal as we develop this location.”

A separate grant is being used to conduct a Riverfront Connectivity Study. The study will provide detailed planning and coordination to identify strategies to remove barriers in an effort to improve connections between the Riverfront and surrounding neighborhoods, including the River Market, Columbus Park, East Bottoms, and Pendleton Heights.

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