By Heather Ervin of Waterways Journal
The Kansas City, Mo., we know today is a diverse and populated metropolitan area on the Missouri River, the nation’s longest river that extends from the Rocky Mountains of western Montana and down 2,341 miles to the mouth of the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Mo. Incorporated by Frenchmen from St. Louis and Native Americans engaged in the 19th century fur trade, Kansas City developed into a dominant shipping hub west of St. Louis. Nonetheless, it would take another 100 years for the city’s port to be officially opened.
In 1977, the Kansas City Port Authority, now known as Port KC, was established. Governed by a nine-member citizen board of commissioners appointed by the mayor, the port authority is a public corporation and a political subdivision of the state of Missouri.
Due to navigation concerns and change in transportation trends, the terminal operator at that time chose not to renew its lease in 2007 and the port closed. But not for too long.
In 2012, Port KC signed a 25-year lease, repaired the property’s infrastructure and initiated a marketing plan to bring attention back to the port. In 2015, the port signed an operating agreement with Kaw Valley Companies Inc., the port’s current operator. Later that year, the port received its first barges in years and has been growing at an exceptional rate ever since.