Video: Last Arch Exploded on Kansas City’s Buck O’Neil Bridge

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explosion of last arch of Buck O'Neil Bridge Kansas City
The old Buck O'Neil Bridge was built in 1956 in Kansas City and carried 50,000 cars a day. A new replacement bridge is scheduled to open by the end of this year.
MoDOT Kansas City

If you’re a fan of bridge explosions – who isn’t? – then you’ll love this video from the Missouri Department of Transportation of the demolition of the final arch of the former Buck O’Neil Bridge:

The old three-arch bridge was closed after one of the two replacement bridges opened in January. That new bridge now carries northbound U.S. 169 drivers over the Missouri River into and out of downtown Kansas City. Southbound traffic remains detoured to I-29/I-35. Completion of the new twin-bridge system and approaches is set for the end of this year at a total cost of $220 million. The other two arches were demolished in separate blasts earlier this year.

The design-build team consists of a joint venture of Massman Construction Company, Clarkson Construction Company and HNTB Corporation.

The old bridge was built in 1956 and carried 50,000 cars a day. It was originally called the Broadway Bridge but was renamed in 2016 the John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Memorial Bridge after the first Black coach in Major League Baseball. Along with connecting drivers to downtown, the bridge linked  U.S. 169 with I-35 and was near the end of its life.

Construction on the new bridge began in 2021. It is designed to last for a 100 years and will feature a new bike and pedestrian lane, access improvements at the downtown airport, LED lighting and a scenic overlook with benches and murals featuring Kansas City icons.

The new bridge has a plate girder design. 

rendering of future Buck O'Neil replacement bridge Kansas CityA rendering of the future replacement for the Buck O'Neil Bridge.HNTB Corporation