Memorial Day weekend events planned

Several Memorial Day weekend activities are planned in Kansas City, Kan., and the surrounding area.

Some of the events:

Memorial Day Masses planned
Catholic Cemeteries of Northeast Kansas will hold Memorial Day Masses on Monday, May 26, at the following locations and times: Mt. Calvary Cemetery, 38th and State Avenue, Kansas City, Kan., 9 a.m.; celebrated by the Rev. Michael Hermes; liturgical music by Ed Grisnik. Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 126th and Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kan., 10 a.m.; celebrated by the Rev. John Riley. For more information and other locations, call 913-371-4040 (Kansas City area); email ; or visit

Memorial Day celebration planned
Chapel Hill-Butler Funeral Home – Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, 701 N. 94th St., Kansas City, Kan., will have a Memorial Day celebration from 11:30 a.m. to noon May 26. Volunteers from the American Legion Post No. 188 and Chapel Hill staff will participate in the annual Memorial Day Service of Remembrance. Men and women veterans from the U.S. military services will be honored. The event includes a rifle volley, the playing of taps, and placing flags on the graves of known veterans.

Free Memorial Day concert planned in Leavenworth
At 7 p.m. Friday, May 23, the American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City will return to perform a free Memorial Day Concert at the Leavenworth High School Performing Arts Center, 2012 10th Ave., Leavenworth, Kan. The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City is a 65-member concert band that will present uplifting patriotic music. There will be ample parking with handicapped accessibility. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. This is a free concert. On Saturday, May 24, Scouts and volunteers will place flags at more than 50,000 graves at both the Leavenworth National and Fort Leavenworth National cemeteries.

Memorial Day Ceremony to be May 26 at Leavenworth National Cemetery
The Leavenworth National Cemetery, 150 Muncie Road, Leavenworth, Kan., will hold its 128th Memorial Day Ceremony at 9 a.m. May 26. Guest speaker for the observance will be Brig. Gen. Joseph M. Martin, deputy commanding general, Combined Arms Center – Training, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Roads entering and exiting will be one way during the observance.

Memorial Day ceremony planned May 26 at Liberty Memorial
A Memorial Day Ceremony is planned from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, May 26, at the Memorial Courtyard at the National World War I Museum, Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, Mo. For more information on the weekend’s events, visit

Yoder to attend Memorial Day observance
U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-3rd Dist., will attend the 232nd Memorial Day observance hosted by Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 317. The ceremony is at 11:45 a.m. May 26 at the Vietnam Memorial Fountain, Broadway and 43rd Street, Kansas City, Mo.

T-Bones observe Memorial Day weekend with fireworks
The T-Bones are planning Memorial Day fireworks after the game against Fargo-Moorhead on Sunday, May 25, at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, Village West, Kansas City, Kan.

Effort to outpace poverty gets Bishop Miege’s Tim Grunard as honorary chair

Poverty in Kansas City has a new opponent, Tim Grunard, one of Kansas City’s best known football players. Grunard will serve as honorary chair for Outpace Poverty, a 5K walk event at Liberty Memorial on June 21. Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph is the event sponsor.
Grunard is currently offensive line coach at Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park, where he also coached after retiring from the NFL in 2000. He coached the offensive line for two seasons at the University of Kansas. Grunard played center for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1990-2000,
“Tim is a natural fit for us and for Outpace Poverty,” said Vincent Anch, Catholic Charities Foundation Executive Director. “He is all about family and community and so are we. We’re grateful he’s supporting our work – empowering families and people from all walks of life to find a way out of poverty – at such a great summer event.”

Public gets a look at plans for new Lewis and Clark Viaduct

Joab Ortiz, right, project manager with Burns and McDonnell, presented final design concept details for the Lewis and Clark Viaduct project on Wednesday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5th and Minnesota, Kansas City, Kan. The red line on the map is the westbound I-70 bridge, which will be the first phase of the project. Phase 2 is represented by a green line and Phase 3, a blue line. The yellow line represents future phases. (Staff photo)

by Mary Rupert

The aesthetics for the final design concept for the Lewis and Clark Viaduct were unveiled at an open house Wednesday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5th and Minnesota, Kansas City, Kan.

The new Lewis and Clark I-70 viaduct will cross the Missouri River from Missouri to Kansas. Currently, there are nine bridges that make up the viaduct.

The project is divided into phases, and the first phase is now what is being worked on, said Joab Ortiz, project manager with Burns and McDonnell, which is handling the design.  The first phase is replacing a westbound bridge, shown on the artist’s drawing by a straight line from Missouri to Kansas. A later phase in the project will change a sharp curve in the I-70 viaduct to a more gradual curve.

A year ago, the final design concept was presented to the public, and this week’s presentation was about how the project will look.

Based on earlier comments at meetings, the project design will emphasize connections to a hard-working community, blue collar values, the river, open spaces and a gateway to downtown, Ortiz said. The gateway area near 4th and Minnesota will still be in place.

As part of the “urban industrialized” theme design, an “Art Deco” look for the bridge pillars and other features is planned, Ortiz said. There will be some openness so people can see down to the river, he said, as public comments pointed toward a desire for connectivity to the river.

If a retaining wall is built in future phases, some sort of public art to tell the story of the community may be considered, he said.  Lighting for the bridge is currently under discussion to determine the best option for energy cost, aesthetics, maintenance and other considerations, he added.

The design intends to keep the same access to the different areas near downtown Kansas City, Kan., according to Ortiz.

For example, access from the I-70 bridge to Fairfax will not be changed a lot from what it is now, said Kevin Eisenbeis with Burns and McDonnell. There may be some improvements to those ramps in the future, and this part of the work is not in the first phase, he said. Construction on this Fairfax area of Lewis and Clark Viaduct will not start until a bridge project to the north is completed, he said. The Highway 169 bridge crosses the Missouri River and it is currently scheduled for construction, so the I-70 Fairfax work will wait until that is completed.

The 5th Street exit from I-70 to Strawberry Hill is still part of the Lewis and Clark Viaduct plan at this point. There are no plans to take any homes for this construction project, according to officials.

The construction project is not yet funded, according to officials. If it is funded, construction might start in 2017. The design phase has been partially funded.

“We’ve had very positive comments today,” Eisenbeis said.

Design work is scheduled to go before the Unified Government Planning Commission for approval this year. The final design is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2016.

Construction of the first phase would be expected to take about two years or slightly more time. Ortiz said that once construction starts, I-70 would be closed during two construction cycles, and detours would be put in place. People would still have access to I-70 and this area through detours, officials said. A construction cycle is from spring to late fall.

In 2012, project officials estimated the cost of the first phase, the westbound bridge replacement, at $175 million to $199 million.

There also were representatives from the Kansas Department of Transportation and the UG at the meeting.

After community meetings, Joab Ortiz, project manager with Burns and McDonnell, said several concepts were identified for the Lewis and Clark Viaduct project, including connections, open space, gateways and aesthetics. (Staff photo)


Several people looked at design concepts for the Lewis and Clark Viaduct at an open house Wednesday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5th and Minnesota, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)


The new Lewis and Clark Viaduct will have an “Art Deco” look, according to project design plans presented Wednesday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn, Kansas City, Kan.
A timeline for the design phase of the Lewis and Clark Viaduct project was presented Wednesday evening at the open house at the Hilton Garden Inn, Kansas City, Kan.


Joab Ortiz, project manager for Burns and McDonnell, showed a drawing depicting future landscape options near the Lewis and Clark Viaduct. (Staff photo)