KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several key officials gathered in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, Friday to announce a $160 million park over Interstate 670 in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
Watch a replay of the news conference:
Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas, Sen. Roy Blunt (R - Missouri), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D - Missouri), City Manager Brian Platt and Downtown Council President and CEO Bill Dietrich spoke during the announcement.
Funding for the project is set to include private investments as well as funding from local, state and federal sources.
Officials estimate the project will take 12 to 18 months to design and engineer.
“Today is an exciting day in Kansas City as we announce significant progress made to build a lid over I-670 as part of our efforts to continue building our downtown corridor for residents, visitors, and businesses,” Lucas said.
The 5.5 acre park will cover I-670 and stretch from Wyandotte Street on the west to Grand Boulevard on the East.
“Kansas City is already a great place to live, work, and visit, and the South Loop Link project will make it even better,” Blunt said.
The South Loop is the term coined to represent a stretch of Interstate 670 that runs below grade and separates the south side of downtown Kansas City from the Crossroads Arts District.
Outside of several bridges connecting the two areas, residents in the area have long sought a better way to connect the two areas.
Coby Cross, who lives in the Crossroads area of KC, said the project may add another big construction project to the city, but he believes the long-term benefits will be worth it.
"I think it's an awesome idea especially as they're expanding the rail car, I think having a more flowing downtown is a huge thing," Cross said.
In 2018, KSHB 41 reporter Andres Gutierrez spoke with a board member of the Crossroads Community Association who advocated for a deck, or “cap” over I-670 to create at-grade space for community amenities. It was a concept first floated in 2009.
This is a developing story and will be updated.