Still on track for late spring, early summer 2020 opening of two mile expanded greenway; bridge over River des Peres delayed by floods & high water
Last year’s rain and historic flooding presented many challenges for the Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail connection to River des Peres Greenway. The good news is we are still on track for a late spring- early summer 2020 opening of the 2-mile expanded greenway from Hoffmeister to River City Blvd. Completion of the final component—the bridge over the River des Peres is dependent on low water levels.
Since March 2019, Mississippi River backwater in the River des Peres prevented crews from building the bridge foundations. After nearly nine months of waiting, water levels dropped low enough in late December 2019 to allow the pile drivers to begin construction. Unfortunately, they were only able to work for about ten days before the water rose again and all work has stopped. Crews were able to successfully install all of the steel supports that go down to bedrock during that time. This week’s drenching rainfall has delivered another setback. We are keeping our fingers crossed the water drops soon—and stays down—so we can build the bridge.
High ground water and soggy conditions impacted construction on the rest of the greenway extension so we added additional crews to make up for lost time. Contractors have focused their efforts on several projects across the new route. If you drive along Interstate 55 between Germania and Bayless, you’ve likely seen the construction of the new greenway along the east side of the highway. Crews in this area have completed the retaining walls that will keep the slope of the new greenway accessible for people of all abilities. Another crew is working on the foundations for the new 660 foot bicycle and pedestrian bridge that will span Bayless Avenue. This work requires temporary lane reductions in this area; we are working as quickly as possible to get all lanes open.
A third area of focus was between Hoffmeister and Avenue I. Crews removed debris and invasive plants to restore a 1.3 acre green space and emergent wetland. A new boardwalk for greenway users has been set in place and native plants and grasses will be planted later this spring. This will make the wetland a welcoming place for birds, bees, butterflies and greenway visitors alike! While this section is open, we still have landscaping, signage and other punch list items to complete.
We understand that people are excited to see this new greenway for themselves. However, the area from the end of the new boardwalk to the River des Peres is an active construction site and closed to the public. We ask everyone to steer clear of the construction for their safety and to allow the crews to build this new greenway!