To the River’s Edge

A little history behind the unknown elevator in the Town of Kansas bridge

Kansas City wants people to enjoy the Missouri River. Really. But downtown, there’s not all that much riverfront property available to enjoy except at Berkley Riverfront Park. So in order to make it easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to get there, Kansas City in 2002 authorized construction of the Town of Kansas Bridge at the foot of Main St., effectively making that street the only one in town that actually reaches the river. The 635-foot-long bridge, designed by BNIM, spans the Union Pacific railroad tracks and ends at a cantilevered deck overlooking the water.

But probably unknown to many, the bridge offers a three-story elevator to the ground and bike path below, large enough to accommodate several people and their bikes, so they can continue pedaling over to Berkley Park, fulfilling the city’s pledge in 2002 to connect it with Main Street.

The next time you’re at the City Market, take the short stroll over to the Town of Kansas Bridge, walk on out and: “Ding!” Going down! Now you can keep on going to the river’s edge. Or just explore the remaining concrete slab floors of the old wharf building that burned in 1993.

As they say at BNIM, “The rustic beauty of the bridge links Kansas City to its past, present and future.”

As we say at Kansas City Spaces, “Let’s get going!”

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