On Friday May 6th a routine inspection to the Grand Boulevard Bridge close to the Sprint Center caused an immediate shutdown of the bridge. The inspection revealed a crack in the bridge that is over 20 feet long.
The Grand Boulevard Bridge was built in 1963 and is need of serious repair or a complete replacement. The bridge itself is four lanes, with two lanes going north and two lanes going south. The sonovoid design allowed the concrete to be poured around forms leaving large empty tubes inside to reduce the overall weight.
To make way for the streetcar Kansas City spent about $2.75 million for a similar sized bridge at Main Street. That bridge includes sidewalks and decorative fencing. At this point it is unclear if that would be the same price to replace the Grand Boulevard Bridge.
In September the bridge did pass inspection. Follow-up inspections in the recent months however did discover the zig-zag crack. Updates on the bridge can be found on MODOT’s website.