Introduction & Initial Analysis
The study will look at the concept of bringing Route 9 to grade between I-70 and the Heart of America bridge over the Missouri River and to reconnect Independence Avenue across Route 9.
It will also look at ways to change the current disjointed highway and street network into an intuitive design of interconnected roadways, freeways, sidewalks, transit, and bicycle routes. This includes restoring Independence Avenue connections to the River Market and Central Business District, repairing an important, broken connection to east Kansas City.
Ultimately the goal is to create a more intuitive transportation system which has the potential for economic improvements.
The Beyond the Loop (2018) outlined this project as “Phase V: Bring Route 9 to Grade - The Study clearly recommended that strategies along Route 9 between the Heart of America Bridge and I-70 should include bringing the existing facility to grade and to reconnect Independence Avenue all the way to Broadway.”
Some of those initial concepts included a new intersection of Route 9 and 6th Street (Route 9 currently passes over 6th Street), but the grade is too steep between 6th Street and Admiral for that to work further to the south.
Route 9 with new intersection at 6th Street
Other ideas from the Beyond the Loop study kept Route 9 as it currently exists over I-70 and 6th Street, but included an at-grade intersection with Missouri Avenue.
Route 9 with at-grade intersection at Missouri Avenue
That option doesn’t work as it comes down off of I-70, and would be very disruptive to the Columbus Park residential neighborhood to the east. So, these two concepts are not viable.