Red Bridge Road Improvements and Bridge Replacement

Location Kansas City, Missouri

Owner Kansas City Public Works Department

Client Kansas City Public Works Department

  • Prestressed Concrete Girder Bridge Design
  • Waterway Bridge Crossing
  • Hydraulic Analysis/Design
  • Highway/Roadway Design
  • Bridge Rehabilitation
  • Context Sensitive Solutions
  • Sustainable Design/Construction Features
  • Lighting Design
  • Bike/Ped Facility Planning/Design
  • Retaining Wall Design
  • Trail Planning/Design
  • Streetscape Design
  • Stormwater/Pavement Drainage Design
  • Public Outreach/Involvement
  • Public Opinion Surveying
  • Stakeholder Committee Group Coordination
  • Railroad Coordination
  • Alternatives Development and Analysis
  • Final Plans, Specifications, and Estimates (PS&E)
  • Construction Engineering Inspection

Red Bridge Road is a major east–west thoroughfare in southern Kansas City, which between Blue River Road and Holmes Road traverses the very north edge of Minor Park. This mile-long rural section was insufficient to meet existing traffic demands, and the City intended to convert it into a five-lane urban section with curb and gutter. This stretch of roadway included an at-grade crossing at the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and a red truss bridge over the Blue River, which was well known and aesthetically popular with local residents. The bridge, which was undersized for existing traffic flows, in poor structural condition, and frequently overtopped by the river, required replacement. The initial planning study recommendations for both the roadway conversion and the bridge replacement met with strong public opposition, and the project stalled. Lochner was subsequently selected as the lead consultant to restart the project, revise the study, and gain public approval.

Lochner undertook an intensive, year-long public involvement initiative, which encompassed neighborhood walkthroughs, a large public opinion survey, a series of public meetings, and the formation of a public advisory committee. In consultation with the City, local residents, and other stakeholders, Lochner developed and refined several design alternatives for the project, with a strong focus on context-sensitive solutions. Lochner’s considerable efforts succeeded in building public consensus, gaining approval for Lochner’s recommended alternative, and enabling the project to proceed to final design.

In addition to the conversion of the roadway to a three-lane urban section, Lochner’s final design included 3,000 linear feet of storm sewer, 30 drainage structures, street lighting, median islands, a 10-foot-wide multiuse trail, a sidewalk, and a large number of driveway tie-ins. A new 1,100-foot-long, prestressed concrete girder bridge was designed to cross the Blue River, the railroad, and a designated floodplain. Both roadway and bridge were designed on new alignment to minimize impacts to the parkland and enable continued traffic operations during construction. The old bridge was retained and rehabilitated as a pedestrian river crossing within Minor Park. Lochner engaged in considerable coordination with the various City departments, the railroad, utility providers, and the public throughout the design phase.

Working with the public advisory committee, Lochner included many aesthetic enhancements in the project design, including overlook points with historical information boards, portraits of notable local figures along the bridge, decorative fencing, and landscaping. Aesthetically treated retaining walls were designed to decrease the grading operations required on residential property and the need for property acquisition. The project became Kansas City’s signature project for sustainable design and included bioswales, rain gardens, LED lighting, and native drought-resistant planting.

Awards & Recognitions:

2013 American Council of Engineering Companies Missouri Engineering Excellence Competition Honor Award

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