Removing North Loop

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Lots of discussion on Twitter this morning on the topic of I-70 around the north side of Downtown, between River Market.

I had heard about this over a year ago. I-70 would follow the current I-670 alignment.

Some TxDOT info from the Houston project.

Here’s a very early stage concept of what could happen with removal and reconnection of the grid.

Credit to @kclightrail


This would provide a seamless transition between Downtown and the market. Tunnel existing I-670 on the south side of downtown and there will be the potential for one solid urban core from the Missouri River to the Liberty Memorial or even further south.

While tunneling would be nice to have, I don’t see it near the importance of reconnecting River Market/Columbus Park to Downtown.

The grid is mostly intact over I-670 and connectivity isn’t hindered. I think most would be comfortable to make relatively short walk over, given the large sidewalks and barriers.

Over I-70, on the other hand, the gap is large, especially Delaware bridge, sidewalks are skinny and barriers are minimal.

The ability to turn this land into something that generates money for the city, instead of significant cost with no end in sight, seems like a no-brainer.

The reason I suggest I-670 too is because its deeper, already somewhat tunneled, and would be relatively easier than current I-70. My guess would be that I-70 would cost quite a bit more and would require quite a few changes before it could be tunneled.

The goal wouldn’t be to tunnel I-70. It’d be to completely shut down that stretch of highway and, possibly, sell off the land for development.

Wouldn’t be a bad move, I doubt that stretch of I-70 is even built to FHWA Interstate Standards anyway.

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theres something people don’t seem to like about the north loop that they don’t feel the same about on the south loop

The gap is almost three times as big, with a number of high-speed exit ramps. Much less approachable from a pedestrian perspective. Hard to compare.

The exit ramps are short and dangerous too. Just a nasty arrangement that I would always try to avoid.

Prior to Power & Light, downtown side of north loop area look quite similar to what downtown side of south loop looked like. North loop on River Market side still has better residential density than south loop on Crossroads side.

What are all those drawn in buildings?

copaken brooks projects plus the hotel and 1/2 light

Agree. Capping 670 should be a very low priority. It could cost nearly a billion dollars to accomplish and there’s no shortage of developable land in downtown to incentivize developers to help cover the cost.

Realign 70 and 35 onto what is now 670 and remove the loop. Eventually realign 35 along 18th St. Expressway in KCK and remove the elevated lanes that run from downtown KCMO and through Rosedale.

Then… maybe cap 670.


Agree that capping 670 shouldn’t be a top priority in downtown development. Maybe down the line, but I’d like to see more development eliminating surface parking. As far as the north loop goes, tear it down. South Columbus Park seriously needs to be integrated into the grid of downtown. This neighborhood is disconnected on all sides even with it’s convenience to the riverfront, River Market and the rest of downtown.

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Although all the trench facing balconies on One Light makes me wonder. At 30 million a block for basic capping, maybe we aren’t too far off.

I mean two light.

Panel Sponsored by KCMO and MARC on Thursday. Discussing replacement of North Loop Highway with mixes use Commercial and Resedential Higherise