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Things You May Not Have Known About The Kansas-Missouri State Line

Laura Ziegler

Our research into State Line Road as part of our ongoing exploration for Beyond Our Bordersturned up some interesting things about the dividing line between the two very different states in our metro.

We are pretty evenly divided as a population by the state line, and our political differences pre-date the Civil War.  

As we move from our exploration ofTroost Avenue, to State Line, we thought it would be fun to list some of the things we are learning -- things you may not have known.

  • Just north of I-70, the state line runs into the Missouri River. It bisects the river all the way to the Iowa state border.
  •  If you drive from the northern end of the metro (where the state line is the Missouri River) to the southern tip at 155 th street - it’s approximately 52 miles. By contrast, the St. Louis state line - the Mississippi River - is about half as long.
  • The state line bisects the West Bottoms area. When the Kansas City stockyards dominated the West Bottoms, the state line split some of the individual livestock pens.
  • We have one of the few, if not the only state line with residential development along most of it.  
  • Cities along State Line Road divide responsibility for snow removal along a north/south axis. Kansas City, Mo., plows State Line Road from I-435 south to the end of State Line Road. State Line Road north from I-435 is plowed by the Kansas cities along it (Leawood, Prairie Village, Mission Hills, etc.)
  • We have a proliferation of local governmental units because of our state line. Within the metro there are roughly 500 individual cities, counties, water and sewer districts, school districts, etc.
  • Three of the metropolitan area’s well-known private day schools are located on the Missouri side of State Line Road: Pembroke Hill School, Rockhurst High School, and The Barstow School

Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR
Pembroke Hill joins The Barstow School and Rockhurst as three of the metro's private schools along State Line in Missouri.

This look at the Missouri-Kansas state line is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders  and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.

We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them. Be a source for Beyond Our Borders: Share your perspective and experiences on the state line with KCUR.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions.
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