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$20 million awarded for Arch grounds upgrade

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Daffodils in full bloom near the Gateway Arch in Luther Ely Smith Park in St. Louis as temperatures neared 70 degrees on a clear spring day in St. Louis on April 12, 2011.

The effort to upgrade the grounds of the Gateway Arch is getting a boost from the federal government - a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The agency planning the project, CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, announced Monday that the grant will pay for roadway improvements along Interstate 70 near the site of the Arch, including a pedestrian land bridge over I-70 connecting the Old Courthouse, Luther Ely Smith Square and the Arch grounds.

The $20 million grant comes with a local match of $25 million from MoDot and $10 million in private funds from the foundation.

"Receiving this funding is a big step forward for the project," said Walter Metcalt, Jr., lead director of CityArchRiver in a statement. "More public funding for highway infrastructure between the Poplar Street Bridge and the new Mississippi River Bridge is needed." 

A nearly $600 million effort is under way to redesign and improve the grounds around the monument that sits along the Mississippi River. As part of the project, officials hope to provide easier access to the riverfront and help make it easier to move between the rest of downtown St. Louis and the Arch grounds.

The goal is to have the improvements in place by 2015, when the 50th anniversary of the Arch will be celebrated.

  • For more on the effort to redesign the grounds around the Arch, check out our ongoing series, Amending the Arch.

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