Weekday closures for fence replacement will be required for up to two weeks. Path to remain open evenings, overnight, and weekends. No good alternatives are available.
The Bob Watts Bike/Pedestrian Path on the Heart of America (HOA) Bridge will be closed intermittently so contractors for KC Streetcar can upgrade fencing on the bridge adjacent to the expanding streetcar maintenance facility. The closures will be Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for up to two weeks. The construction equipment needed for the fencing project will block access to the bridge while work is taking place.
The path should still be accessible on the weekends and outside of the 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. work period.
Unfortunately there are no good alternatives to the HOA bridge until the path on the new Buck O’Neil bridge opens in late 2024 or early 2025. This is why we need more river crossings in our region. One construction project shouldn’t jeopardize people’s access and safety.
RideKC Bus #201 North Oak provides service across the bridge Monday-Friday during the times the path is closed, but unfortunately it only runs every 45 minutes.
The Chouteau Bridge, 4.5 miles east, is the closest safe crossing over the Missouri River. It is a 30 minute bike ride or a 90 minute walk. Once across the river there is not a good route back into North Kansas City. The US 69 bridge to the west is a two hour walk. Again, there is not a safe route back into Northtown.
We are frustrated that KC Streetcar Constructors, the construction consortium building the Main Street extension and expansion of Singleton Yard next to the HOA bridge, did not provide more advanced warning, did not reach out to the community, and appear not to understand the impact on the hundreds of people who rely on the path every day.
Working with the KC Streetcar Authority, BikeWalkKC was able to get the closure pushed back a few days. We have also been told the work hopefully will not require the full two weeks planned.
We have requested more details to be posted in multiple languages at the path entrances for people who may not have reliable access to other communication channels, and that they do outreach to the unhoused individuals who live in encampments near the bridge and who are among the most reliant on the path.