The city of Independence has been awarded $320,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund the final design and engineering of the Chestnut Street Bridge. The funding comes from the Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program (RTA), which is administered by the Build America Bureau.
City Manager Kenna West expressed her gratitude by saying, “Independence is thrilled to receive this award from the US Department of Transportation. Designing and building this essential piece of infrastructure will improve the connectivity and traffic flow in the southern part of our city.”
Out of over 400 applications submitted, only 3% were awarded and Independence received almost 18% of the funds available to non-tribal entities.
“The sheer number of applications received, and the amount of funding requested demonstrates the tremendous need for funding communities that have historically been left out of federal investment opportunities,” said Deputy U.S. Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “This is great progress in our mission to help our rural and Tribal partners realize their visions for safer and more efficient transportation options.”
Independence’s transportation network is currently fragmented by a railroad and 2 natural waterways (Ash Creek and South Fork of Ash Creek), limiting North/South and East/West routes, creating traffic bottlenecks, and constraining housing development. Constructing a bridge across the South Fork of Ash Creek, connecting Chestnut Street and 13th Street, will introduce system capacity sufficient to relieve existing bottlenecks and will support housing affordability by facilitating future housing development on both the east and west sides of the Creek.