Study looking at closing North Loop in downtown Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A study approved by Kansas City will take a look at closing down the North Loop of I-70 to help with congestion on the Broadway Bridge.

The main focus of the study will be fixing the Broadway Bridge, but part of the study will focus on fixing traffic flow in the North Loop. Traffic jams typically happen right in front of the Broadway Bridge, something the city wants to fix.

People working and living in the River Market voiced concerns over where the traffic from I-70 would go, especially with the River Market area already packed and continuing to grow.

"I mean, we're only getting busier and busier in this area and I'm not sure where the city planners think this traffic is going to be diverted to," said Margo Thompson, bar manager at The Farmhouse.

"Well I think that it would cause some problems for traffic down in the City Market especially on the weekends and for people trying to get home during the week," said Kimberly Wittman, who lives in the River Market.

The study will be done by the Mid-America Regional Council, along with MoDOT. It will cost $3.8 million, $3 million of which will be provided by a federal grant from MARC.

It will take over a year and a half to complete the study. Any type of construction would not happen at a minimum of five years, more along the line of eight, according to Wed Minder, who is the innovation engineer for the City Manager's Office.

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Ali Hoxie can be reached at ali.hoxie@kshb.com

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