U.S. WWI ceremony to close streets for hours on Thursday

The national ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I will unfold on Thursday morning at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Downtown Kansas City.


The World War I centennial event in Downtown Kansas City on Thursday will mean headaches for some commuters and others who will discover closed roads near Liberty Memorial, according to The Kansas City Star today.

For most of the day on Thursday, streets around the National World War I Museum and Memorial will be closed, and there will be no direct access to the WWI Museum and Memorial, Crown Center, Union Station or the Internal Revenue Service.

Road closures around Liberty Memorial, Union Station and Crown Center are planned to begin early Thursday morning and continue for much of the day. (Map courtesy of The Kansas City Star.)

Produced by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, the ceremony, In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I, is expected to draw dignitaries from around the world to participate in this historic tribute. Follow this link for FAQs about the event.

Barricades will go up at 3 a.m. on Thursday in anticipation of huge crowds planning to attend America’s ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into WWI. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and run until 12:30 p.m. Public tickets are sold out, but a live stream can be viewed for free.

Downtown workers, residents and visitors can expect heavy traffic on Thursday morning, and are encouraged to plan accordingly.

Inclement weather could lead to cancelling the outdoor event, but it is still planned for an outdoor celebration at this time.

Traffic Alert – for drivers, and bus riders

The morning commute in and around Liberty Memorial, Union Station and Crown Center on Thursday is going to be anything except routine, according to City Hall. The centennial ceremony has prompted the closing of streets surrounding Liberty Memorial, due to security for international diplomats who will be attending.

Road closures and security measures around the museum start at 3 a.m. Thursday – and will continue for most of the day. For commuters who work in the area, this map shows how to access nearby businesses. A second map shows recommended detours for motorists who are just driving through.

In addition, RideKC buses will reroute around the event perimeter from 4 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. This affects a significant portion of RideKC’s routes in Downtown KC.

Closed roads include:

  • Main Street between 20th Street and Grand Boulevard
  • Pershing Road between Broadway Street and Grand Boulevard
  • Kessler Road from Pershing Road to Wyandotte Street
  • 27th Street between Main Street and Grand Boulevard
  • 29th Street between Broadway and Wyandotte Street
  • Wyandotte Street between Memorial Drive / Kessler Road and 31st Street

Main Street detours include Grand Boulevard, Gillham Road, Southwest Trafficway or Broadway Boulevard for north/south traffic. East/west traffic should use 20th or 31st streets.

Public attendees are required to access the event at Pershing Road and Main Street. Accessible transportation for ticketed guests will be available via shuttle at Pershing Road and Main Street, courtesy of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA).

There will be no parking in and around the memorial including Union Station. The public is encouraged to walk or use KC Streetcar and KCATA/RideKC.

Detailed reroute information is online at www.RideKC.org. Routes include local bus service, as well as express routes from Johnson County, Kansas City, Mo., Liberty, Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit.

The centennial event will be streamed live with a link at the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission website. C-SPAN3 will record the event to air at 9 a.m. Sunday.