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Buck O'Neil Bridge back open ahead of schedule

Posted at 7:51 AM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 13:24:07-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Transportation said the Buck O’Neil Bridge has reopened to all traffic in both directions just in time for Thanksgiving travel.

The bridge closed in May for a three-phase rehabilitation project.

It was scheduled to reopen on Dec. 1, making its Wednesday morning reopening ahead of schedule.

The bridge is more than 60 years old and sees around 40,000 vehicles on average each work day.

Crews repaired cables, railings, medians and expansion joints on the structure. The construction was expected to stretch the bridge's lifespan for up to five years. 

"Unfortunately, the bridge is nearing the end of its lifespan at this point," MoDOT resident engineer James Pflum said. "What we did was get a few more years out of it with these repairs. Now we are looking at the future as to what it will look like."

The project cost an estimated $7 million in a cost-sharing agreement with the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

An environmental study is being conducted to determine the feasibility of constructing a new bridge.

MoDOT thanked their partners and Kansas City residents for their patience while they worked on the iconic Kansas City bridge.

"When you have a project of this size and impact to the community, you really got to go in knowing what you are looking at and what needs to be done," Pflum said. "So a lot of preparation."