The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday it has awarded a $25 million grant toward replacing the Buck O'Neil Bridge in Kansas City, which carries U.S. 169 over the Missouri River. It is a Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development Transportation Discretionary Grant, or BUILD grant.
The Missouri Department of Transportation recently re-opened the bridge's southbound lanes after closing them in September for a $7 million rehabilitation project. Crews repaired cables, railings, medians and expansion joins to give the bridge, built in 1956, a few more years of safe lifespan until a new bridge is built.
MoDOT has said a new bridge will cost about $200 million, about half of which would come from the organization. Kansas City would contribute nearly $40 million, with the rest covered by federal and regional funds. A required environmental study, which examines how construction and a new bridge would impact railroads, the Wheeler Downtown Airport, the river, traffic patterns and historic buildings on the south side of the river, will be completed in early 2020. Kansas City and the state are splitting the cost for that $1.8 million study.