U.S. 169/I-70 North Loop PEL Study

Our team led the planning and environmental linkages (PEL) study for the U.S. 169/ I-70 North Loop in Kansas City, Missouri.

The study provides alternatives for rehabilitating or replacing the aging Broadway Bridge over the Missouri River and accelerating future National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) activities. The study also considered major changes to the downtown freeway loop and ways the transportation network could support development and revitalization in the area.

The team was responsible for engaging the community, analyzing alternatives and developing a strategic plan for incremental improvements to transportation infrastructure within the study area.

Specific activities included:

Community engagement. Engagement activities were tailored to promote understanding among the project’s diverse stakeholders — residents, businesses and commuters — and connect the planning process to local desires in a positive and proactive way. Activities included visioning and scenario planning, educational materials, charrettes, targeted small-group meetings, and digital outreach.

Conceptual analysis. The team developed and analyzed a range of conceptual designs that combined possible bridge locations with low-, medium- and high-impact freeway alternatives for the downtown loop, as well as a series of alternatives for the I-70/I-670 loop extending into Kansas City, Kansas.

Traffic demand modeling. The team developed a Dynameq mesoscopic dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) model of the project area and its surrounding roadway network. This model represents the existing roadway infrastructure, including lane-level details of both freeway and arterial roadway geometrics. It helped the team assess the operational impacts of each alternative and identify improvements for more detailed evaluation in Vissim.

Environmental review. The study included development of an initial Purpose and Need statement, recommended alternatives to be carried forward into NEPA, identification of key stakeholder concerns, and prioritization of future projects.

This project was the recipient of a 2019 ACEC Missouri Engineering Excellence Award.


Mid-America Regional Council


Kansas City, Missouri