KC Mayor Sly James highlights crime reduction and bridge replacement in State of the City address

Bill Grady
March 28, 2018 - 5:51 am

At his seventh state of the city address Tuesday Mayor Sly James said Kansas City is headed in the right direction, but there is a lot more to accomplish.

James told a packed house at Plexpod Westport Commons that while the city has taken some big steps forward with KCI and the downtown convention center hotel.

The mayor said he regrets that city government has been unsuccessful at expanding the streetcar to the east.

"We took a dare, took a chance, and it was too early, and it missed," James said. "I would dare say now it would have a much better chance of success."

James called for the replacement of the Buck O'Neil Bridge. The cost of the project would exceed $200 million. James said a $50 million overhaul of the bridge would only be a stopgap measure.

On public safety, James said he would like Kansas City to be taken off the list of the nation's most-dangerous. The KCPD investigated 150 homicides in 2017.

"This isn't just the police, it sure as heck isn't just me, everybody needs to get involved," James said. "Rick Smith, the chief of the police department here, has that very same goal."

James said the city's national and international profile is rising. Kansas City is one of the sites being considered for the 2026 World Cup soccer tournament. 

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