KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Government officials from both sides of the state line gathered Monday to announce the Bi-State Sustainable Reinvestment Corridor, which aims to bolster infrastructure along a swath of the Kansas City region from Kansas City, Kansas, to Independence.
The Corridor will focus on sustainability and infrastructure improvements along State Avenue, Independence Avenue and Truman Road, spanning from KCK to Independence.
“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our entire region to create sustainable communities, provide greater opportunity for economic mobility, and ensure our jurisdictions have the energy efficient infrastructure necessary to remain competitive throughout the 21st century — but coordination is critical,” U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II said in a statement.
He touted a comprehensive approach as a “catalyst for economic growth” and a way to support the region’s Climate Action Plan.
Cleaver, a Democrat who represents Kansas City, Missouri, was joined by Independence Mayor Eileen Weir, Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr. and representatives from the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and KCK and the KCMO City Council were on hand for the announcement.
Rep. Sharice Davids, a Democrat from Kansas, and newly elected KCK Mayor Tyrone Garner sent statements to be read, but were not in attendance.
“Part of the Kansas City Metro’s strength is our interconnection and collaboration,” Davids said in a statement. “We should absolutely leverage that to bring smart, sustainable investments to our communities. Working together, we can use the historic bipartisan infrastructure law to make lasting improvements in our local economy, our climate impact, and our quality of life. I appreciate Congressman Cleaver’s leadership and look forward to working together with local and state partners in Kansas.”
KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas also was not present for the announcement on a plan to coordinate efforts “to maximize federal funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with a comprehensive plan to create greater opportunity throughout the region with strategic investments in sustainability, mobility, and economic development.”
Lucas’ office said he had a scheduling conflict, but said KCMO looks forward to working with Cleaver on ways to strengthen the city’s infrastructure through federal programs.
The Bi-State Sustainable Reinvestment Corridor plans to target federal funding for zero-emissions transportation, including electric buses, expanded KC Streetcar and bus service, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure; affordable and energy-efficient housing; green infrastructure, like urban trees, charging stations for electric vehicles and stormwater upgrades; improvements to broadband access; public-safety technology, like an additional Shot Spotter and license-plate readers; economic development, including workforce training and child care; and improvements to the energy efficiency for schools and public libraries.
Cleaver's office said the comprehensive plan would create nearly 85,000 jobs and substantially improve the quality of life for nearly 91,000 residents who live within a half-mile of the corridor.
The Corridor has been endorsed by the Mid-America Regional Council, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and RideKC, according to a release from Cleaver’s office.
Cleaver touted the plan as an opportunity to foster job growth and improve access to jobs, health care and educational opportunities through a 24-mile, zero-emissions transit route that would connect KCK, KCMO and western Independence.
“Far too often our programs and planning are limited by our invisible jurisdictional lines,” White said in a statement. “This coordinated, comprehensive regional plan eliminates those lines and increases our chances of receiving federal funds that are essential to making these plans a reality.”