How We Move

file photo

The week of Thanksgiving is one of the busiest weeks of the year for Lambert - St. Louis International Airport, as travelers make their way home for the holidays.

But movement of another sort is also going on at Lambert - a dual push to both make the airport a stronger economic engine for the region and a more inviting entry-point for the city.

Airport As Economic Driver

(Missouri History Museum, St. Louis)

Trolleys are making a comeback across the country from Seattle to Tampa with promises of economic development and walkable neighborhoods.

In St. Louis an effort to bring the fixed tracks back to University City’s Delmar Loop began in 1997.

After the $44 million project landed a big federal grant, it seemed St. Louis would be home to trolleys again.

But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports the proposed Loop Trolley has hit some bumps.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Since the 1950s, traffic planners have been looking for ways to make it easier to get north and south in St. Louis County. The original plan to extend Interstate 170 all the way to Interstate 44 was officially scrapped in 1997, and the proposed South County Connector is the first plan to make it passed the discussion stage since then.

As conceived, the $110 million road would essentially extend River Des Peres Boulevard to Hanley, and build a new interchange at Interstate 44. But many in the region are wondering why the county wants to build it at all.

(New Mississippi River Bridge Project Facebook page)

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River is slated to open early next year.

As part of St. Louis Public Radio's series of reports on the region's aging infrastructure called "How We Move," Julie Bierach spoke with Jerry Blair with the East-West Gateway Council about how the $667 million bridge will impact travel in the St. Louis region.

She began by asking him when they started planning for a new bridge.

Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

We’ve all been there: You get in the car and begin driving your normal route, only to hit construction and be re-routed to another street, or traffic that forces you to creep along at a snail’s pace. In your annoyance, you glance out the window and spy a cyclist whizzing by and think, ‘Man, I need to get one of those.’

For Sean Lowery, commuting by bike is more than a summertime hobby  - it’s a way of life. The 27-year-old Marine Villa resident has been commuting on two wheels for three years now, and has created a whole new transportation lifestyle for himself.

St. Louis Public Radio

Twenty years ago today, Metro St. Louis slid open the doors for the first ride on its new light rail system. Although the system was built on an existing freight line, the path to its existence was not clear or easy.

"Until the very day that it opened, people did not believe this system was going to exist," said Les Sterman, supervisor of the Southern Illinois Flood Prevention District and former executive director of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. He worked for years to make the MetroLink a reality.