Emily Wheeler
Editorial Intern

The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce announced the muralists selected to transform the historic Independence Avenue ‘Truck Eating Bridge’  June 24.

The South West wall concept | Alex Eickhoff

This infamous Independence Avenue bridge is set to transform into a vibrant, artistic landmark with four new murals. These murals are part of an ongoing project with the City of Kansas City and the Kansas City Terminal Railroad to bring more attention to the bridge through visual, lighting and safety improvements. Funded by a grant from KC Rebuild, the murals will cover the graffiti around the bridge and warn drivers of its low clearance. According to the NEKC Chamber, work on these murals is scheduled to start after the July 4 holiday, with an estimated completion date of early August.

The South East wall concept | Michelle Renn and Merry Burleson

Juried by two HNE residents from Indian Mound and Sheffield, four mural designs were chosen from 39 concepts submitted by 15 artists. The selected works were announced June 24 at a NEKC Chamber luncheon. Artists and the KC business and neighborhood community had a chance to meet the artists who plan to transform this bridge into a visual spectacle. 

Become more will bring sea creatures to its northwest stairway, featuring colorful sea life on wheels. Mike Elder will decorate the northeast wall with a KC-inspired mural. Alex Eickhoff will paint a truck-eating hippo on the southwest wall and sisters Michelle Renn and Merry Burleson will create a venus trucktrap mural on its southeast wall.

The North West wall concept | Become more

“We want to bring attention to the bridge,”  said NEKC Chamber of Commerce Events Director, Rebecca Koop.  “We want to make sure the bright colors of the murals are capturing the attention of pedestrians.”She said she hopes the murals will transform the bridge into more than just a net for catching 12- foot trucks. 

Koop envisions additional improvements for the bridge, including painting the underside and adding lights to enhance pedestrian safety.

The North East wall concept | Mike Elder

Owned by the Kansas City Terminal Railroad, the bridge was built in 1912 and stands 12 feet tall. While a seemingly normal bridge to the average commuter, it is a serious threat to the average 13.6-foot high tractor-trailer. Currently undefeated, the bridge has encountered collisions with at least 40 trucks since 2020, according to KCPD stats. 

In February 2024, the city finished installing warning curtains at the bridge. Six days after its installation, the curtain was damaged after a truck collided with it.