The engineering firm HNTB has been studying the 3,000-acre area for the city, to figure out what’s needed to turn it into a freight transportation hub. The city also wants to attract new businesses and jobs.
HNTB north riverfront project manager Brian Comer says the area has problems with storm water flooding, and lacks supporting businesses like restaurants.
It’s also difficult for trucks to get freight in and out of the port.
"There’s a number of areas right now...where the rail lines cross a number of the major streets, such as Hall Street," Comer said. "Trains actually block the road."
The HNTB study has been funded by a $600,000 grant from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, along with $200,000 in city funds.
Jennifer Allen of Trailnet, a local non-profit that promotes biking and walking, says her organization’s priority is for St. Louisans to be able to access the river.
"We think it’s important that we have people living there, that we have these recreational activities happening there, that it’s really a district, a destination, that can connect people to the river," Allen said. "And at the same time provide the jobs that everyone knows that we so need."
Both Allen and Comer say Tuesday’s meeting is an opportunity for people to ask questions and voice their priorities for the north riverfront area.
The meeting is from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23, in the Environmental Compliance Auditorium of the Bissell Point Wastewater Treatment Plant at 10 East Grand Avenue.