The U.S. Secretary of the Interior and the Transportation Secretary were in East St. Louis today to talk about improvements to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, a.k.a. the grounds of the Gateway Arch.
In September Michael Van Valkenburgh and his team were named the winner of an international design competition to better connect the Arch grounds to St. Louis and East St. Louis.
Early estimated costs put the project at more than $300 million, although a price tag has still not been finalized.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar says one of the major challenges will be coming up with the money.
"But I think that there is enough enthusiasm to create the kind of public private partnership and be able to find funding sources from a variety of sources to really be able to create a legacy type of project," Salazar said.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, the heads of Missouri and Illinois departments of transportation, and the mayors of St. Louis and East St. Louis also attended the meeting.
The project is expected to be finished in 2015, the 40th anniversary of the Arch's completion.