Jackson County installs 300-foot bridge on Rock Island Trail



January 20, 2021

Wildwood Bridge is longest trail bridge in Jackson County

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. is excited to announce that the Rock Island Trail is now home to the longest trail bridge in the County. Today, construction crews installed the last 200-foot span of the Wildwood Bridge, making it a total of 300-feet long.

The new Wildwood Bridge is part of the work currently underway on the second phase of the Rock Island Trail, which stretches from Brickyard Road in Kansas City to the Truman Sports Complex. The bridge is not yet complete, and at this time, no one should walk on or cross the bridge. Each end is being blocked off to ensure compliance and safety.

“This is an exciting project because it adds another dimension to what we do best in the County—and that is trails,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “We know there is great demand, support and enthusiasm across the region to see the trail completed. I appreciate our Parks + Rec leadership, Rock Island team, contractor and partners who have worked diligently and collaboratively to get us to this moment of accomplishment today.”

The new bridge connects wooded areas and neighborhoods along the trail to the downtown Raytown area. It has two spans with a pier in the center that sits in 5-feet of limestone 22-feet below ground level.

Additional bridge details include:

Each span is prefabricated, delivered in multiple segments and assembled on site using two large cranes.

The 200-foot span installed today weighed 140,000 pounds.

The bridge is constructed of Corten weathering steel. The steel weathers to cover itself with a protective rust colored patina. The bridge deck will be concrete.

12-feet wide with 20,000-pound loading criteria to carry emergency vehicles if necessary.

“These features are among just two of the many reasons this trail will continue to be one of the most popular in Jackson County,” said Jackson County Parks + Rec Director Michele Newman. “Jackson County Parks + Rec is so thrilled to be bringing this very important project to our community.”

Phase two of the Rock Island Trail is 7.1 miles long and will have three access areas: Lot L at the Truman Sports Complex, the Downtown Raytown area and off Woodson Road in Raytown. Construction is expected to be complete in April 2021, weather permitting.

“The Wildwood Bridge will be an impressive sight and will no doubt be a point of interest on this project, only rivaled by the Vale Tunnel,” said Rock Island Project Manager Matt Davis.

The first phase of the Rock Island Trail was completed in June 2019 and included 6.5 miles of trail between Jefferson Street in Lee’s Summit to Brickyard Road in Kansas City. The historic Vale Tunnel, a former railroad tunnel, is a key feature of this first segment of trail to open to the public. This section of the Rock Island can be accessed from two trailheads – one at 98th Street and Bannister Road and the other at Hartman Park in Lee’s Summit.

The Rock Island Trail is a part of the Rock Island Corridor Project, a collaborative effort between Jackson County and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. Jackson County has taken the lead on the development and management of the trail, while the KCATA is focused on planning for future transit and economic development opportunities along the 17.7 mile corridor.