Flying Truss, the company behind redeveloping the Rock Island Bridge into “America’s First Destination Landmark Bridge,” selected EAG Advertising & Marketing as its agency of record.
Michele Markham, EAG’s president and CEO, says, “To be chosen as an integral partner for introducing and promoting, this national, one-of-a-kind destination to not only Kansas City, but also the country, truly is an honor. Flying Truss had their pick of top local and national agencies. Choosing us, a Kansas City-based and proud agency, speaks to the founders’ dedication to making Rock Island Bridge a community-based gem, certain to become an icon of our skyline—to Kansas City, from Kansas City. Local, authentic and fun.”
Rock Island Bridge is the brainchild of Flying Truss founders, Michael Zeller, Mike Laddin and John McGurk. It has taken years to get the project off the ground and to the point where the grand opening is just a year away, set for March 17, 2024.
Flying Truss is reclaiming the historic Rock Island Railroad Bridge as America’s first trailhead and entertainment district over a river. The decommissioned bridge was built in 1905 to carry livestock to the Kansas City Stockyards. A rock’s skip from HyVee arena in the West Bottoms, the bridge sits a few feet from the state line and will be a link for the Kansas and Missouri trail systems and a crossing for pedestrians and cyclists from KCK to KCMO. It will be the first to provide trailhead services, such as restrooms, drinking fountains and seating, above a river. Also, it will anchor the western leg of the emerging Green Line trail around downtown KCMO. Not to mention provide meeting spaces for community biking, boating and nature groups that work to activate the trails and the river.
As an entertainment destination, Rock Island Bridge will feature dining, bars and coffee shops, event spaces, retail, gardens, dance floors and art. Weddings, concerts, catching the game on big screens, regattas, festivals and seasonal markets—the programming and possibilities are as seemingly endless as they are exciting.
See what Rock Island Bridge will look like when complete.
To make Rock Island Bridge a reality requires a good, old-fashioned “bridge raising” so to speak. L.G. Barcus and Sons of Kansas City, Kansas, the company that, in 1951 installed the screw-lift gates capable of raising each of the three trusses six feet in advance of flood waters, will be elevating the bridge and constructing new decks. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas (UG), the state of Kansas, local government officials, community and neighborhood associations are involved. And, since 65% of the UG’s bridge is platted as public space, the Helzberg, Sunderland and Dickinson Foundations are helping through a charitable fund at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. Kansas City investors, David and Cathi Brain, Neal and Angela Sharma and Jean and Tom McDonnell among many others, are investing in the project through Flying Truss. Local firms, including Lathrop GPM, Multistudio (formerly Gould Evans), Merkle (formerly DEG), BlueScope Steel and us (EAG Advertising & Marketing), have donated collectively more than $500,000 in labor and materials.
Leading up to the grand opening in 2024, EAG is refining the Rock Island Bridge’s brand identity, creating a public-facing website, developing a short- and long-term marketing plan, writing and distributing press releases, planning and promoting pre-opening events, such as the upcoming groundbreaking ceremony, as well as social and digital marketing and more.
Mike Zeller, partner and CEO of Flying Truss, says, “Grateful to find a KC firm as authentic and fun as the Rock Island Bridge. They ‘get’ startups and this project.”
About EAG Advertising & Marketing
EAG Advertising & Marketing is a Kansas City-based agency created exclusively for small businesses, providing these entrepreneurial companies with services ranging from strategic planning to full-service outsourced marketing and all tactics in between. At EAG, skilled, in-house marketing professionals conduct brand development, graphic design, website design and development, SEO, SEM, content creation, digital and traditional media, email marketing, social media marketing and more. EAG, an Agency of the Year Fountain Award winner, has provided advertising and marketing services to more than 500 small businesses across Kansas City and the country. The agency is a winner of numerous graphic design and marketing awards from the Business Marketing Association, Best Places to Work, 25 Under 25, Top Companies, KCDMA AMBITs and a Workplace Wellness Silver Certified Company via the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.