Updated with more detailed figures on funding
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) gave the public a look tonight at its plan to build what it calls a “lid” to connect downtown St. Louis with the Gateway Arch.
But before it breaks ground, MoDOT Engineer Deanna Venker said the agency has to take into account a whole range of potential impacts.
“You can’t just come through and blight out a neighborhood, you need to consider all of your environmental impacts,” Venker said. “That’s really what today is about, is going through and making sure we aren’t hitting any historical features. That we’ve worked with all of our partners in making sure that this project is good for everybody.”
Venker said the final design, however, has yet to be completed and the agency will take public comments online for the next two weeks.
The meeting also brought together a number of stakeholder groups working on the overall plan to revamp the park around the Arch.
Ryan McClure is a spokesperson for the non-profit City Arch River and said the project could provide downtown with an economic boost.
“Really at the core of it is to stay at the arch longer, stay downtown longer,” McClure said. “We get downtown visitors to stay a half day longer, and we increase visitorship to what it’s been historically, it’s basically the economic impact of an additional Cardinals season each year.”
McClure said a pedestrian bridge to the Arch is already paid for and $15 million has been committed by Great Rivers Greenway to build a new trail that's part of the $28-30 million plan to revamp the riverfront. City Arch River is still raising money to fund the remainder of the $370 million project on the Missouri side of the river.