Deanna Venker of the Missouri Department of Transportation is accustomed to building bridges for cars and trucks.
But MoDOT’s area engineer for the city of St. Louis said constructing the so-called “park over the highway” in front of the Gateway Arch is a bit out of the ordinary.
“This is a very different bridge in the sense that there’s not going to be any cars or trucks going over,” Venker said. “It’s strictly a park over the highway for pedestrians and bicyclists that are coming into the park area.”
If there’s a sports-related rally, a festival, even a gathering of protesters or an outdoor civic event in the city, chances are that it will happen in downtown’s Kiener Plaza. In the view of some, Kiener works just fine as it is.
The group in charge of overhauling Kiener Plaza is giving the public a taste of what's to come.
CityArchRiver had an open house on Monday in downtown St. Louis to give the public a view of Kiener Plaza's redesign plans. It’s part of a broader project to revamp the Gateway Arch grounds over the next few years.
The group is planning to add an extensive playground and an interactive fountain. The project will also include a large event lawn for concerts and movies, as well as a place for people to park their bicycles.
The National Park Service will start removing 1,200 trees on the Gateway Arch grounds in earnest on Monday.
The removal is part of a years-long project by CityArchRiver to renovate the popular tourist attraction, and it could start as early as Friday, according to the group's communications director Ryan McClure. He said the first few trees are coming down Friday to move in construction equipment.
The next round of renovations for the Gateway Arch grounds has begun. On Thursday, representatives from the National Park Service, the City of St. Louis and other supporting organizations were on hand for the groundbreaking.
CityArchRiver 2015 renovations are geared toward making the grounds more accessible and enjoyable for all visitors.
A major step in the Gateway Arch grounds renovation is taking place this weekend, causing road closures and detours in downtown St. Louis.
Working around the clock from Friday night until Monday morning, Missouri Department of Transportation crews are placing 40 large girders over the depressed lanes of I-44. It’s the first step in building the land bridge that will connect downtown St. Louis with the Arch grounds.
Right after CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation had announced its latest tally in private funding to spruce up the Gateway Arch grounds, sportscaster Joe Buck helped push the total a little higher.
Buck told patrons lunching in Ballpark Village that the group was within $20 of raising an even $178,210,000. He managed to coax somebody wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey to hand over $100, prompting the room full of St. Louis Blues fans to cheer.
Buck – who helped emcee CityArchRiver’s event announcing the fundraising figure – said he was impressed by the project’s progress.
Ed Lammering wore his top hat to a groundbreaking last month beside the Gateway Arch, but left his horse, Lukes, at the St. Louis Carriage Company’s stable on the other side of Busch Stadium. He held a sign which read, “Where do we stand? – carriage drivers.”
The carriage company is among several businesses that have concerns about the impact of the $360 million CityArchRiver 2015 project. Work will include expanding the Arch grounds over Interstate 70, carving out a new central entrance for the underground museum and numerous other major improvements.