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This Troost Bridge Is Made For Walking

A replacement bridge on a busy thoroughfare in Midtown Kansas City, is not something that would normally merit much notice, let alone celebration.  But the new span over Brush Creek on Troost Ave. is different.

A Lot Riding on This Bridge

A replacement bridge on a busy thoroughfare in Midtown Kansas City, is not something that would normally merit much notice, let alone celebration.   But the new span over Brush Creek on Troost Ave. is different. 

Troost used to be thought of as a racial dividing line and a prime example of urban blight.    So, for the last decade hundreds of civic leaders, neighborhood folks, engineers and artists struggled to make a statement at Troost bridge.   

David Dowell, an architect with El Dorado Inc. in Kansas City, has been working on the project all 10 years.  

“We were interested in materials that we felt addressed the dynamic of Troost as a dividing line.  So glass, for example.   It’s the one material that allows you to look through it, and see behind you as well.   So when we’re looking to the east, we’re also looking to the west,” said Dowell, standing on the bridge recently.

Unique Design

The new bridge is the nexus of an expansive street, and walkway, and landscape improvement effort that stretches for more than a block all directions from the bridge.  

“You don’t think of glass being on a bridge,” said Dowell.  “In fact there’s only one other installation of panels like this that we’re aware of in the country, and it’s at the top of Rockefeller Center.”

Bridge Party

The group Brush Creek Community Partners is throwing a party to celebrate the opening of the bridge, Saturday, May 5, 5 - 11 pm. Should be fun.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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