The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently established a partnership to support innovative delivery and finance of infrastructure improvements in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Emerging Projects Agreement focuses on Kansas City’s more than $15 billion network of projects designed to improve mobility, connectivity, safety and equity throughout the region. The partnership will help spur work for an east-west Streetcar extension to connect underserved communities with healthcare, jobs, and the heart of Kansas City.
“This Department is always ready to partner with cities to help realize their unique visions for safer, cleaner, more modern transportation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “I’ve had the chance to see firsthand the great strides Kansas City is taking to modernize their infrastructure, and this agreement will help advance that work for years to come.”
“My administration is proud to have a strong partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation to help us improve the lives of Kansas Citians and I am thrilled about our collaboration to bring billions of dollars to our community to make improvements, including reconnecting communities once torn apart by highway construction, creating a rapid transit system from the airport to the urban core, and making critical repairs to our bridges, ultimately creating a safer, more interconnected Kansas City for generations,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas in a statement.
Under the federal-city partnership, the Build America Bureau and Kansas City will explore opportunities for project planning, procurement, financing, and delivery that could include using low-interest rate financing such as the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans, Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF), and other grants.
“This agreement formalizes our collaborative effort to explore innovative approaches and best practices with Kansas City’s officials. We have formed a strong partnership to deliver this program effectively and efficiently,” said Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian in a statement. “Together, we will advance these critical projects in innovative and sustainable ways so we can ensure the continued mobility and economic health of this thriving community.”
Some of the projects that could benefit from this partnership include:
- A fixed, 21-mile rail line from the airport to connect travelers, visitors, and employees to downtown Kansas City and the core of the city’s transportation systems ($10.5 billion)
- Bi-State Streetcar Expansion, an East-West Streetcar extension connecting underserved communities with healthcare, jobs, and to the heart of the city ($1.5 billion)
- Reconnecting The Eastside, a study of the Highway 71 corridor to address the scars and displacement this corridor has left on historic Black neighborhoods ($1.6 billion)
- Reconnecting The Westside, a study of the I-35 corridor to address the disruption caused by the viaduct and connect Kansas City’s historic Hispanic communities to the downtown Central Business District ($1.5 billion)
- Construction of an urban park at Interstate 670 to add green space and remove the divide created by the construction of the highway ($314 million)
- Bridge critical repairs or replacement city-wide ($147 million)
- Blue River Watershed safety and connectivity improvements, including economic and workforce development and neighborhood reinvestment programs. ($123 million)
- Vision Zero city-wide safety and connectivity improvements for all modes of transportation and every user ($75 million)
Source: The U.S. Department of Transportation