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Park Over the Highway (CityArchRiver 2015) Project



Park Over the Highway construction June 2014

Working on the walls around Interstate 44. Click here for more photos

Where are we in the process?

Construction has begun on the roadway improvements underneath I-44 at the depressed section that will ultimately lead to the Park Over the Highway project.

Work has started around the Chestnut and Market Street bridges.  You can watch the work there from our construction camera.

Initial impacts for the remainder of the fall and winter include:

  • Narrowed and shifted lanes on I-44 between Washington Ave and the PSB.

 

How do I get around downtown currently?

Here's the most recent map showing the traffic flow through the downtown area.  At this point, traffic patterns are nearly in their final form around the new Park over the Highway. You can click on the map for a larger pdf of the map:

downtown traffic flow

 

To subscribe to receive e-mail project updates on the Park Over the Highway project, click here.

What is being constructed?

The Park Over the Highway project includes:

At the I-44 and MLK interchange:

  • Create access from 3rd Street to MLK on-ramp to  eastbound I-44.
  • Allow access on the MLK ramp from westbound I-44 to Convention Drive.

At the Eads Bridge and Washington Avenue:

  • Restrict access (a right turn access from the new ramp will remain) from the section of Washington Avenue next to the Eads Bridge.
  • Update and activate the traffic signals at the Eads Bridge and Memorial Drive

Near the Gateway Arch:

  • Swap the ramps between Memorial Drive and I-44 (exit from eastbound, entrance to westbound)
  • Remove and replace the Walnut Street Bridge
  • Remove the Chestnut Street and Market Street bridges and replace them with the Park over the Highway
  • Convert the Pine Street Bridge to a pedestrian bridge
  • Adjust traffic flow on Memorial Drive around the Park Over the Highway
  • Add auxiliary lanes on I-44 between the PSB interchange and new Washington Avenue ramps

The following was presented to contractors during a pre-construction meeting held June 10, 2013.

What is the general schedule?

Work on the project will begin in mid-summer 2013 and last through fall 2015.  Construction will start near the Martin Luther King Bridge, then move to Walnut. The last stretch of the project will complete the remainder of the Park Over the Highway and the associated roadway changes around the downtown area. MoDOT and CityArchRiver 2015 have coordinated extensively with the business owners and other stakeholders impacted by the project to develop the final design and construction schedule.

 

What are the anticipated impacts?

All anticipated impacts are subject to change due to weather, schedule shifts or around major downtown events.

  • Winter 2014: Close the Walnut Street Bridge for removal and reconstruction. Weekend closure of I-44 to remove Walnut Street Bridge. Off-peak lane closures on Walnut Street for reconstruction work.
  • Spring 2014-Fall 2014: Narrowed and shifted lanes on I-44 between Washington Ave and the PSB. Weekend closure of I-44 to remove Chestnut and Market Street bridges. Off-peak lane closures on Pine, Market, Chestnut and 4th streets.
  • Winter 2015-Fall 2015: Off-peak lane closures on Pine, Market, Chestnut and 4th streets. Off-peak lane closures on Memorial Drive. Off-peak lane closures at the MLK Bridge and Convention Plaza. 
Roadway Impact Projected change
Through lanes on I-44 (EB and WB)
All lanes open June 2014
Northbound Memorial Closed (Permanently) Permanent Closure
Ramp from NB Memorial to eastbound I-44 Closed Permanent closure
Southbound Memorial Sections closed and reversed (Permanently) Permanent
Ramp from westbound I-44 to Memorial/ Pine Street Closed Permanent

Ramp from eastbound I-44 to Washington/3rd Street

Open Permanent
Ramp from southbound Memorial to westbound I-44 (future) Closed Fall 2014
Walnut Street Bridge Open Permanent
Walnut and 4th Street Open Fall 2014
Walnut and Broadway Open Permanent
Convention to eastbound I-44 Open Permanent
Northbound and southbound 3rd Street Open Permanent
Washington at Eads (2nd to Memorial) Open, left turn only to Washington Permanent
Washington to eastbound I-44 Open Permanent
Westbound I-44 to MLK Open Permanent
Westbound I-44 to Convention Plaza Open Permanent
Pedestrian access to Gateway Arch Open June 2014
Market Street Bridge over I-44 Open June 2014
Chestnut Street Bridge over I-44 Open June 2014

 

How will this affect PSB ramp updates?

The work to improve the ramps between the Poplar Street Bridge, eastbound I-44 and southbound I-55 is currently underway.  The work on the Park Over the Highway will coordinate with the work to construct the ramp to Memorial Drive across Walnut Street and construct the dual ramps to southbound I-55. There should be minimal impacts between the two projects.

How will access into downtown change when this project is completed?

People north of downtown will have one more access points into downtown than they currently have:

  • Eastbound I-70 at Tucker
  • Westbound I-44 at Broadway
  • Westbound I-44 at Convention Plaza

People south of downtown will have an additional access point into downtown.

  • Eastbound I-44 at Walnut
  • Eastbound I-44 at Washington Ave

People in Illinois will have one more access point into downtown:

  • Poplar Street Bridge Ramp to Walnut
  • Martin Luther King Ramp to 3rd Street/Cole Street
  • New Mississippi River Bridge ramp to Cass Avenue/Tucker

 

What will the project cost?

 The project was awarded to KCI Construction Company for $26.4 million for construction of this project. This project includes funding from private, state and federal sources (including $9 million of a $20 million TIGER grant). 

What reports have been generated due to this project:

MoDOT has completed the review of the environmental impact of the project and has determined this project will have no significant impact (Finding of No Significant Impact):

MoDOT has also completed the Access Justification Report (AJR). This report is required for any project that changes access to or from an interstate highway. This report has been finalized and approved by the Federal Highway Administration

What about requests to remove the interstate?

There have been some grass roots efforts to encourage the region to remove the section of I-44 between the Poplar Street Bridge and the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge and replace it with a roadway more integrated into the city traffic structure. MoDOT has no plans to pursue that at this time for two reasons.

First, there are significant north-south truck and other vehicle movements that use this section of interstate and will continue to use it now that the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is open (traffic from northbound I-55 to westbound I-70). MoDOT estimates that traffic at about 60,000 vehicles daily. There are only two north-south interstate corridors in St. Louis – I-55/I-44 to I-70 and I-270.  This traffic would either use the  proposed at-grade roadway or divert onto I-270, which already has significant capacity problems.  The first would lessen many of the benefits created by the boulevard; the second would further exacerbate one of the region's most significant congestion problems. Neither option is reasonable, considering MoDOT's regional responsibility.

In addition, the CityArchRiver plan for the closing of Memorial Drive and building a park over the highway to connect the Arch grounds to the city has widespread support. Removing the interstate and replacing it with a boulevard would not solve the primary purpose and need for the CityArchRiver 2015 project—to ease both pedestrian and bike flow from downtown into the Arch grounds.  A four to six lane boulevard would restrict pedestrian and bike access, not make it better.  In addition, an at-grade boulevard does not link the Arch grounds with Luther Ely Square Park and the courthouse.  

If, at a future time, regional leaders determine that removing the elevated lanes of I-44 is a regional priority and would be beneficial to the region, the preferred alternative design for the Park Over the Highway would not preclude that work from happening.

Although all public comment during the environmental assessment is appreciated, a public focus on suggesting improvements to the preferred alternative will ensure the best possible project for St. Louis City and the region.

 

Who Do I Contact For More Information?

  • Contact MoDOT Community Relations Specialist Andrew Gates at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636) or email Andrew.Gates@modot.mo.gov

 

To subscribe to receive e-mail project updates on the Park Over the Highway project, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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