Buck O'Neil Bridge to close for repairs on May 19

The Missouri Department of Transportation is gearing up for a short-term rehabilitation project on the Buck O’Neil Bridge.

Work is tentatively set to begin Saturday, May 19, which will result in the closure of all southbound traffic lanes (Route 169) across the Missouri River through November.

 Citizen File photo Cars drive on the Buck O’Neil bridge in this photo taken in Feburary. the southbound lanes from Highway 169 will close for repairs on Saturday, May 19 through at least November.

Citizen File photo
Cars drive on the Buck O’Neil bridge in this photo taken in Feburary. the southbound lanes from Highway 169 will close for repairs on Saturday, May 19 through at least November.

A press conference was held Tuesday afternoon to go over the critical repairs. The list includes expansion joints, suspension cable, pavement, main span rail repairs, repair river piers and replace all cable retainers. The project will cost $5 million and it is a 50-50 split between MoDOT and Kansas City. It was described as a ‘five-year band aid’ during the press conference while the area tries to figure out a plan to replace the bridge after a tax was passed during the April 3 elections to help construct a new bridge that will cost around $200 million.

Southbound traffic on the Buck O’Neil (Broadway/Route 169) Bridge and I-29 will be directed to southbound I-35 and across the Christopher “Kit” Bond Bridge.

Traffic entering onto southbound Route 69 south of I-29 will be directed to southbound Route 9 and across the Heart of America Bridge. A single lane of Route 169 will remain open south of Route 9 to allow access to the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. All traffic using this lane will be forced off at the southbound Richards Road Exit.

All northbound lanes will remain open during the rehabilitation project to ensure easy access for emergency responders and others to the Wheeler Downtown Airport.

The Buck O’Neil Bridge was originally the Broadway Bridge that was built in 1956 for $12 million. It was a toll bridge until 1991.

On average of about 40,000 vehicles each work day. Crews will be working to repair cables, railing and expansion joints on the structure. The overall project should be completed by December 2018. For more details, go to http://www.modot.org/kansascity/major_projects/Buck_ONeil_bridge.htm

All work is weather dependent.