I once did a write up and blog post about the 6th Street Freeway (North Loop) and speculated that a freeway along the river made more sense. Looks like it was considered. I got a copy of the 1947 KCMO Riverfront Masterplan.
Below is the foreword for the plan to give you a little context.
The start of the plan.
Here it is.........the Riverfront Highway!
In case you were wondering what the area looked like at the time, check out my post with a 1940's picture of the Hannibal Bridge, another picture of the second Hannibal Bridge, and this post shows what the area looked like around this time. It's not a very developed area. It would have torn up the Town of Kansas area but I'm not sure that would have mattered as the area was neglected and fell apart eventually. It also would have left blocks along 5th and 6th Streets and not decimated Columbus Park.
Here is what the Northeast Industrial District looked like before public infrastructure was extended to the area as a result of this plan.
This was a plate showing where all the highways would go.
This is a zoomed in area trying to highlight the parallel riverfront highway.
There were also some renderings of the proposed Woodsweather and Chestnut viaducts.
The plan had a layout of all sorts of streets in the northeast bottoms.
What was interesting about this plan was the desire to turn the Milwaukee (later renamed Chouteau) Bridge into a automobile crossing.
The highways were of such importance they warranted an appendix.
The report also had three different plates showing different street networks.
All three plates had an "Interregional Freeway" along the bottom of the Old Northeast bluff. I guess people needed to bypass all the lights on Independence/24 to get through town. It's not like US 40 existed on 31st Street at the time.
Unfortunately it took some time to peruse the report and then pull these images out so I may have missed something. If something stands out in the report, leave me a comment and I'll look at it for the next follow up post.