Q: Why kcICON?
The I-29/35 corridor leading into downtown Kansas City is already heavily used (an average of 102,000 vehicles each day) and forecasts show traffic volumes will continue to rise. This congestion increases travel time, fuel costs and pollution, and is a contributing factor to the rising number of crashes along the corridor. Without increased capacity, these issues are likely to worsen.
In addition, the Paseo Bridge itself is more than 50-years-old and will need to be rehabilitated or replaced altogether if this structure is to remain in use over the next 60 to 75 years.
Q: What is kcICON
This $245 million “interstate connections” project will upgrade Interstate 29/35 to six lanes from just north of the Route 210/Armour Road interchange to Independence Avenue. An additional southbound lane will be built from the northeast corner of the Central Business District loop to Oak Street. Numerous on-ramps and off-ramps will be rebuilt and several interchanges reconfigured. To see what these improvements will look like, click here for an aerial map (268K). For a high resolution version of this map click here. Construction on this project began Monday, April 21, 2008.
An “iconic” cable-stayed bridge expandable to eight lanes will also be built just east (downstream) of the existing Paseo Bridge.
Q: Who is the contractor for the kcICON project?
A: Paseo Corridor Constructors. The team is lead by joint venture partners Clarkson Construction Company, Massman Construction Co. and Kiewit Construction. Additional team members include Parsons Transportation Group and TranSystems Corporation.
Q: Why is the bridge being rebuilt when work was just done on it in 2005?
A: It was June 2005 (during the bridge rehabilitation work) that MoDOT learned $195 million had been set aside for replacing the Paseo Bridge. The decision was then made to significantly scale back the rehabilitation work and complete just enough repairs to extend the structure's life until a new bridge could be built.
Q: How is the kcICON project funded?
A: The program budget is $245 million: $195 million Amendment 3 federal and state funding plus $50 million federal funding (SAFETEA-LU). MoDOT received a $10 million commitment from the City of Kansas City, Mo. to reconstruct the Front Street interchange and a $1 million Highways for LIFE grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The contract amount is $232 million.
Q: What highway/interchange improvements are included in the contract?
A: The kcICON project will upgrade Interstate 29/35 to six lanes from north of the Route 210/Armour Road Interchange to Independence Ave., and will include an additional southbound lane from the northeast corner of the Central Business District loop to Oak Street. The project will feature:
- three northbound and three southbound lanes of interstate expandable to eight total lanes;
- a landmark cable-stay Missouri River bridge expandable to eight lanes and capable of accommodating a future bicycle/pedestrian facility;
- a reconstructed interchange at Route 210/Armour Road with improved ramps and auxiliary lanes;
- a half-diamond interchange at 16th Street that will eliminate the low-speed loop ramp for exiting northbound traffic;
- a split-diamond interchange at Bedford Avenue/Levee Road that provides local street access and connectivity between Levee Road and Bedford Avenue;
- a single-point urban interchange at Front Street
- a new bridge and right-hand entrance ramp at I-29/35 and The Paseo.
Q: Who is Barrel Bob?
A: Barrel Bob, a 10-foot tall, orange barrel man, is pointing the way to safe travels through the kcICON corridor. Bob will remain a fixture on the kcICON Project, using a message board to remind motorists to slow down. Barrel Bob was constructed by Robert Ohl, an employee of Clarkson Construction Company, out of concern for his safety and the safety of his fellow workers. Speed has been a contributing factor in several accidents and property damage in the corridor. Robert donated 10 hours of personal time on a weekend and used decomissioned barrels to build Barrel Bob. Robert was inspired by a North Carolina university student and street artist who last year created a similar creature from stolen orange barrels. While he doesn't condone the theft, Robert does support the idea of using a little creativity to draw attention to a serious public awareness issue: work zone safety.
Q: When will the project be finished?
A: Full service to all interstate lanes will be restored by June 1, 2011, and final construction completed by July 31, 2011, beating the October 31, 2011, project goal completion date by three months.
Q: Will the existing Paseo Bridge be closed?
A: The Paseo Bridge will remain open to traffic for the duration of the project. Paseo Corridor Constructors will also maintain two lanes of northbound traffic and two lanes of southbound interstate traffic during morning (6:00-8:30 a.m.) and evening (3:30-6:30 p.m.) peak travel times.
Q: Will there be interchange/ramp closures?
A: There will be numerous, intermittent interchange and ramp closures starting in April 2008 through June 2011; however access to Interstate 29/35 will be maintained at all times via detours. Although two lanes of northbound traffic and two lanes of southbound interstate traffic will be maintained during morning (6:00-8:30 a.m.) and evening (3:30-6:30 p.m.) peak travel times, these lanes will be narrow (10 ft.). The corridor can be reduced to two lanes (one northbound and one southbound) outside of peak travel times.
"We strongly urge motorists who use this corridor as a through route to consider using alternate routes during construction. "
Q: What type of new bridge will be constructed?
A: A 6-lane, landmark, cable-stay, Missouri River bridge expandable to eight lanes.
Q: Does the new Missouri River bridge have a name?
A: The Missouri General Assembly passed House Bill 56 in May 2007 that designates the new bridge over the Missouri River on Interstate 29/35 in Kansas City as the "Christopher S. Bond Bridge."
Q: Why does the Christopher S. Bond Bridge look similar to bridges in South Carolina, Boston and other areas?
A: We're building a cable-stay bridge which is a specific bridge type that has certain structural characteristics such as one or more center columns (or pylons) and tensioned cables that stretch diagonally from these pylons to the side of the bridge. Just like many suspension bridges and steel arch bridges look similar, so do many cable-stay bridges.
Q: What will happen to the current bridge?
A: We will be taking down the Paseo Bridge once traffic is moved over to the new bridge in 2011. About 6,000 tons of material from the Paseo Bridge will be recycled.
Q: Where will the new bridge be located?
A: The new bridge will be built to the east (adjacent to) of the existing Paseo Bridge.
Q: Will the bridge be lit at night?
A: Lighting has always been an important design element due to the communities' desire for dramatic nighttime as well as daytime views. Each of the 40 cables will be illuminated with cannon lights. Additional aesthetic lighting features a kinetic lighting system with diode panels mounted to the edge girders to allow an infinite number of lighting shows across the length of the bridge, from simple one-color panels to complex color changing events that complement seasonal changes and special community events.
Q: It's been reported that the height of the bridge poses a hazard for the Charles B. Wheeler downtown airport. Will the bridge be built as designed?
A: The Federal Aviation Administration issued a "determination of no hazard to air navigation" on August 5, 2008. The FAA's study states that the structure would have no substantial adverse effect on the safe and efficient utilization of the navigable airspace by aircraft or on the operation of air navigation facilities. The bridge will be constructed as originally designed.
Q: Does the new bridge include bicycle/pedestrian accommodations?
A: The new Christopher S. Bond Bridge is capable of accommodating a southbound, 11 ft., shared, bicycle/pedestrian facility in the future. MoDOT’s contract with Paseo Corridor Constructors does not include the cost of modifying the new bridge to accommodate a bike/ped facility as an acceptable level of connectivity is needed both north and south of the river. Once connectivity has been established, the connecting municipalities would be responsible for all costs associated with modifications to the current design-build project and impacts to the schedule. MoDOT supports all modes of transportation and values bicycle and pedestrian travel, and continues to work with its planning partners/stakeholders on requests for bicycle-pedestrian accommodations.
Q: Will there be any opportunity for public input on this project?
A: Yes. Public input was gathered during the Environmental Impact Statement process. Prior to project award and the start of construction, citizen input was also gathered with regard to project aesthetics, regional mobility and workforce development. A 12-member Community Advisory Group has actively represented the public's interests since March 2006. One of the five goals of this project is to engage stakeholders and the community to successfully develop and deliver the kcICON Project. We encourage citizens to continue to voice their ideas, opinions and concerns at anytime.
Q: Will there be any Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) requirements on the project?
A: There is a 13% (percent) DBE goal for this project. Learn more on the Workforce page of this web site.
Q: Please describe the Workforce component of the project.
A: MoDOT is committed to increasing the number of minorities, women, and economically disadvantaged individuals working on the kcICON project. Up to $1.25 million has been designated for training programs and partial wage reimbursements for the contractor. Learn more on the Workforce page of this web site.
Q: Will construction affect the Missouri River's endangered species?
A: The endangered pallid sturgeon resides upstream and downstream (slower moving current areas) from the substructure construction area (faster moving current).
Q: What is design-build?
A: The design-build delivery method was selected as a way to save time and money. Compared to the more "traditional" design-bid-build method where the design work is completed in its entirety before contractors bid on the job and then order materials and perform the work, the design-build method streamlines the process by enabling construction to begin before design work is complete. This helps minimize price escalation from rising material and labor costs, and facilitates faster project completion to help minimize inconveniences to the public.
Q: Will the I-435/Front Street Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) project be constructed at the same time as the kcICON Project?
A: The DDI Project is delayed until there is an opportunity to construct it without negatively impacting traffic flow on the I-29/35 corridor. MoDOT will not disrupt traffic flow at I-435/Front Street and I-35/Front Street at the same time. Learn More about MoDOT's DDI Project.
Q: How tall is the new bridge?
A: The center pylon of the new Christopher S. Bond Bridge will extend 316 feet above the river's surface. Imagine two existing Paseo Bridge towers stacked one on top of the other -- that will be the approximate height of the new pylon when completed.
Q: Does the existing Paseo Bridge have to be torn down?
A: Yes. Our U.S. Coast Guard bridge permit states that when the existing bridge is no longer used for transporation purposes, it must be removed in its entirety within 90 days. Removing the existing Paseo Bridge's old piers is necessary to maintain the Missouri River's navigational channel. Additionally, from March to September 2007, MoDOT advertised both locally and nationally the availability of the existing Paseo Bridge for adaptive reuse at an off-site location, but received no responses. A new owner would have been required to disassemble, move, reassemble and then maintain the bridge in accordance with established standards for historic bridges -- theoretically possible, but at an unfathomable expense.