But FAA May Impose New Restrictions
The Federal Aviation Administration
has warned officials in Kansas City, MO that the design for the new
Paseo Bridge poses a hazard for aircraft at Charles B. Wheeler
Downtown Airport (MKC), according to the Kansas City Star.
The FAA issued a notice December 4, stating the height of a
tower on the proposed bridge -- 220 feet AGL -- would interfere
with navigable air space around the airport.
"If this is built, as it was explained to us, there could be
some hazard to planes flying into that airport," said FAA spokesman
Tony Molinaro, adding the agency can't
stop the Missouri Department of Transportation from the allowing
the tower in the design.
If the bridge is constructed as proposed, however, it could
result in new flight restrictions for arrivals and departures at
the airport. What those may be cannot be known until the issue is
studied in more detail, Molinaro said.
The Missouri DOT says it is trying to work with the city and the
FAA to work out any issues about the bridge's height.
"We’re certainly not going to run out there and do
something that puts anybody in jeopardy," said Brian Kidwell,
director of the $245 million Paseo Bridge project.
"We’ll explore options and opportunities to figure out what
can be done."
FAA officials said a 96-foot-high bridge would be acceptable.
Kidwell counters Kansas City residents want a new landmark
structure as a crossing of the Missouri River, and 96 feet might
not be noticeable enough.
The FAA recently released its study of the impacts of the
structure, after MoDOT informed it of the bridge’s height in
August, a little over a month after the DOT project contract was
The Paseo Bridge project is scheduled to start in April, with a
completion date of June 1, 2011.The project also includes widening
The high bridge tower could be hazardous to planes taking off
and landing from the downtown airport’s main runway, said
Mark Van Loh, director of the Kansas City Aviation Department.
The official suggested rerouting air traffic to the west over
Kansas, but was not sure of obstructions there that might be a
"I am confident we will get this worked out," he said. "I am not