Forest Park Parkway near Barnes-Jewish Hospital in the Central West End is closing until at least next summer starting Monday.
The road, which runs below Kingshighway, will be filled in to connect at-grade with the intersection. The $10 million project is designed to improve access and safety for patients, visitors and neighbors, according to June Fowler, BJC’s senior vice president of communications.
“We thought it was important to have a traditional intersection so folks who are traveling to the campus would have a more intuitive way to access services,” she said.
Kingshighway will remain open in both directions during the day with limited lane closures overnight when construction is scheduled to take place.
Motorists driving west on the Forest Park Avenue from Euclid Avenue will still be able to turn left or right at the intersection. Forest Park Parkway west of Kingshighway will be closed up to Union Boulevard to rebuild a bridge over MetroLink tracks in Forest Park. Fowler said local traffic, however, will still have access to nearby streets.
The project is slated to finish before the opening of the hospital’s north expansion next August, which is expected to substantially increase traffic on the north end of the campus, she said .
Rapid development and construction over the past decade has transformed the neighborhood and Fowler says the intersection project is another sign of St. Louis reclaiming its standing as a destination for health services in the region.
“One of the conventional wisdoms in the 1970s and 80s said that the public would not travel east to access health services and these institutions have proven that to be wrong. The number of people who drive from the west, from the north, from the south, not only in the metropolitan area but outside of the metropolitan area to access the services here – the number of people has grown.”
Funding for the road construction includes a $2.5 million federal grant for the MetroLink bridge portion, $5 million from BJC and $2.5 million from Washington University School of Medicine.
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