Update on the Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave County Park

Project Overview:

Construction on the extension of the Mississippi Greenway in Cliff Cave County Park will start the week of February 27, 2017.

Construction on the extension of the Mississippi Greenway in Cliff Cave County Park starts this week!

Following meetings with the St. Louis County Executive’s office and Councilman Ernie Trakas, Great Rivers Greenway and St. Louis County Parks​ have been given the green light to proceed on the project!

Tree removal along the greenway path is expected to begin tomorrow. Following guidelines provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, all tree removal will be conducted while the bats that roost in those trees – including the endangered Indiana Bat – are still hibernating in nearby Cliff Cave (you can learn more about the bats here). This phase of the project will also include the removal of invasive plants—including harmful Bush Honeysuckle—that are choking out native plants and other trees within the park. More than a thousand native trees, shrubs and other plants will be planted along the trail to restore and boost the native ecology of the greenway.

Work will start at both ends of the project, with tree removal starting at Telegraph and at the planned location of the new parking lot on Cliff Cave Road. Right now, the project will include a turnaround as the western end of the trail, without building the ~1,500 foot spur to connect to Telegraph Road. Officials from St. Louis County are planning to conduct a safety assessment of the planned crossing at Telegraph Road. If that study determines by August 1 that the connection is indeed safe, we will move forward with our original plan for the neighborhood connection. Otherwise, the path that was cleared for construction access will be replanted.

Thanks to everyone who has voiced their support, concerns and perspectives regarding this project. We are grateful for your patience and input and we will continue to provide updates throughout construction. As always, contact us anytime with questions.

» Click here to view information on the Mississippi Greenway master plan


Current Status:

Removal of necessary trees is slated to begin the week of February 27, 2017.

Primary construction on the new trail is scheduled to begin in the spring.

A traffic study to determine the safety of the Telegraph crossing will be conducted by St. Louis County. Depending on the outcome, either the neighborhood connection at Telegraph and Erb will be constructed as planned, or the access to Telegraph will be removed.


Project to Date:

Community open houses were held in January and October 2016 with our partners at St. Louis County Parks to share project details and gather input from area residents.

Plans were modified several times based on community feedback.

A bid for construction was awarded December 15th, and funding was approved by the Great Rivers Greenway Board of Directors in January 2017.


Project Map:


New Mississippi River Overlook:

cliff-cave-overlook-2

cliff-cave-overlook


Protecting Endangered Bats:

Cliff Cave County Park is home to several species of bats, including the endangered Indiana Bat – which spends the summer months roosting in trees. To protect these bats, we need to remove any necessary trees prior to March 31st while these bats are still hibernating within the cave. When they come out of the cave, the bats will choose to roost in other trees and will not be disturbed by construction.