Coinciding with the massive renovation and expansion planned for the Truman Library, the Missouri Department of Transportation has planned to replace the U.S. 24 bridge over Delaware Street/Bess Truman Parkway in front of the Truman Library in 2019.
What exactly the new bridge will look like is yet to be determined, but the city of Independence can at least project a cost ceiling.
The City Council last week authorized a cost apportionment agreement between the city and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to fund the estimated $3.95 million project.
Independence's portion will be $1.322 million, $50,000 of which is due Thursday. The balance will be due before the project is advertised for bids, which is estimated to be next spring, according to the city.
City officials say their share might ultimately be less, however, after bids come in.
Truman Library officials aim to re-open the museum for the 75th anniversary of Truman taking office as president – April 12, 2020 – and MoDOT plans to have the bridge completed before then. Independence's portion of the cost will go toward enhancements for bridge, which would include greater pedestrian accommodations and designs to give the bridge more visual appeal given that it’s a gateway to a presidential museum and that it borders McCoy Park.
The first planning meeting for the final bridge design took place earlier this month. Council Member John Perkins said the bridge should be “something that brings some refreshing life to that area.”
Whatever the city's final tally is, it will come from street sales tax funds. Bryan Kidney, director of finance and administration, said city staff will wait until bids come back to decide whether to pay cash for its portion or go to the Missouri Development Finance Board for bonds, which would be repaid from those tax funds.
Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission will be responsible for all right-of-way and construction plans and project specifications.