KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -- Much needed relief from flooding in several neighborhoods on both sides of the state line is underway thanks to a $529-million investment from the federal government.
It’s part of a levee improvement project along both the Kansas and Missouri Rivers that will help six key neighborhoods, including industrial ones that employ more than 100,000 people.
Levees were no match for the waters that caused the historic flooding of 1951. Improvements meant the next big one, “The Great Flood of 1993,” was less damaging to the metro than it could have been. But ’93 showed yet more work was needed.
The project that broke ground Wednesday was the final stretch of a larger US Army Corps of Engineers project that began in 2019. The last piece includes both Argentine and Armourdale in Kansas City, Kansas.
"The families that have been here for generations and generations. We're talking about the small businesses, the people, who have been living with the devastating impact flooding can have,” said Congresswoman Sharice Davids, describing who will benefit.
The third neighborhood included in the final piece is Kansas City, Missouri’s Central Industrial District (CID), which includes the West Bottoms.
The West Bottoms, long a mainly industrial area, has seen a facelift in recent years with chic restaurants and residential. The owner of a winery there is cheering the flood control project as something that will help reassure developers who might have been a bit wary.
“I think bringing in more development is crucial, and the levee improvements are going to allow that to happen,” said Kerry Amigoni, the owner of Amgoni Urban Winery.
Improvements along KCK’s Fairfax District, North Kansas City and KCMO’s East Bottoms have already been completed.
The final stage of improvements is expected to be finished by 2026.