KANSAS CITY, MO — On Monday, President Joe Biden signed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law.
Now, some of the funding could benefit existing projects in the Kansas City area, including the Martin Luther King Park Pedestrian Bridge.
“I don’t think there should be a division in the south side and the north side of Brush Creek,” Carrie King, a Kansas City resident said.
$2.8 million from the infrastructure bill might bridge that gap, literally, with funding passed during the House of Representatives appropriations process. Now, as it awaits to be passed by the Senate, there could be more to come.
“Even though we’ve gotten projects approved in our regular appropriations bill were going to augment those dollars with money coming out of this infrastructure bill," Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said.
Cleaver said using funding from the bill for the bridge is important for the community.
“I think we need a pedestrian bridge over in the parking lot on the west side of Paseo and not try to cross over the street and try to cross a pedestrian bridge," he said. "We’ve got money that we can use for a variety of things and that’s in the infrastructure bill."
Now, while this new funding could enhance more the of the bridges project in its entirety, Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation says an array of projects could provide more local jobs and economic impact to the area.
“So, the workers that work on this, they live in Kansas City and also, they spend the money in Kansas City," Richard Allen, park planning and park development manager with KC Parks and Rec said. "So, we are reinvesting into our neighborhood and then again, they’ll bill the sales tax and those sales tax will get re invested into the neighborhood as well.
All this as a way to rebuild certain parts of our community.
“We can put money in here in our infrastructure bill to reconnect communities," Allen said. "So, here's some opportunity for creativity and to reconnect both sides that have been disturbed as a result of I-70 construction."