A new transit station planned for south Kansas City could become a landmark to U.S. history.
The National Park Service may designate a new transit center planned near the Three Trails Crossing interchange as a trailhead marking the start of the California, Oregon and Santa Fe trails.
Representatives from the Park Service will meet with transit planners in mid-August to discuss ways to commemorate the role the three trails played in westward expansion.
The trails stretched thousands of miles across the prairie from Missouri to the great western expanse, serving as commercial highways for moving goods or settlers who wanted to build homes in the West and Northwest, or find fortune prospecting for gold in California.
While details are still being discussed, the new transit station at the northeast corner of Bannister Road and Blue Ridge Boulevard could include several murals depicting the movement west.
The transit station also would feature the National Park Service’s standard sign identifying it as a trailhead for a national historic trail.
Other possibilities for enhancing the transit stop include exhibit panels detailing the historical significance of the trails and how they can be retraced.
Engineers at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority have been working on a new transit center in the area of the Three Trails Crossing where Interstate 435, Interstate 470 and Interstate 49 meet up with U.S. 71 in south Kansas City.
The new center is estimated to cost about $2 million. Design is expected to be finished in September. The new center is scheduled to be open sometime by late next summer.
Features included in the new center will be bike racks, real-time arrival signs, shelters, parking, lighting, accessible ramps for people with disabilities and dedicated boarding platforms.
Planners say the new facility will allow bus riders to make transit connections to popular locations in the region.
The new transit center will serve as a hub for six bus routes, including the Troost MAX Green Line, 28-Blue Ridge, 28X-Blue Ridge Express and 175-75th Street.