Project Overview: CityArchRiver Celebrates Next Phase With Public Groundbreaking
CityArchRiver 2015—the immense $380 million renovation of the Gateway Arch grounds and the surrounding area—is commemorating the next phase of the historic project with a public groundbreaking to kick off construction of the Central Riverfront portion of the project. The public is invited to attend the celebration Thursday, Nov. 14, at noon. The event will take place downtown at the Riverfront Overlook Stage, located on the east side of Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd, directly across the street from the Gateway Arch Grand Staircase.
The overall CityArchRiver design—much of which is scheduled for completion by the Arch’s 50-year anniversary in 2015—includes new bike and pedestrian trails, nearly 7 acres of new park space, transportation improvements and more, not the least of which is a park built over the highway, directly connecting the Arch with the city—allowing pedestrians to walk directly to the Arch without encountering traffic.
Ryan McClure, communications director for CityArchRiver 2015, says the project will heavily impact the whole region, not just Downtown. The difficulty of crossing from the city onto the Arch grounds—which now means crossing several lanes of often-heavy traffic—has long been a complaint voiced by visitors and locals alike. The “Park over the Highway” project will solve that by essentially dropping a lid onto the highway an installing a park over it, allowing the city to connect via a greenway from the Old Courthouse to the Arch.
The project has even gotten the attention of President Obama. One week after visiting Missouri, Obama spoke in Chattanooga, Tennessee saying that “rebuilding our infrastructure” included projects “vital to our national pride, like the one we’re breaking ground on this week at the St. Louis Arch,” according to the Riverfront Times.
There will be traffic interruptions throughout the project. You can look at MoDOT’s plan and schedule at the MoDOT website. .
The project is a public-private partnership, including multiple local government agencies, the National Park Service and funding from other private sources. For more information, visit the CityArchRiver website, which includes several informative features, like a slider that shows the Arch grounds transforming and an animated fly-through of the new grounds.