Here’s a quick update on what’s under construction, what’s coming soon, and what we are planning in partnership with people & partners across the region!
Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail
This year’s rain and historic flooding presented a number of 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 2020 opening! Work on the bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the River des Peres was temporarily halted due to flooding and work is underway again on the approaches to the bridge. Crews are waiting for the Mississippi River backwater levels to drop another 5-6 feet so we can get all the equipment in place to build the bridge foundations. Unfortunately, heavy rains upstream continue to keep water levels high.
High ground water and soggy conditions impacted construction on the rest of the greenway so we’ve added additional crews to make up for lost time. Contractors are focusing 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 for the new greenway along the east side of the highway. Crews in this area are building retaining walls to make sure the slope of the new greenway is accessible for people of all abilities. Altogether, the new walls will require about 35,200 blocks of stone. (Save that for a trivia night!) Another crew is working on the foundations for the new 660 foot bicycle and pedestrian bridge that will span Bayless Avenue.
A third area of focus is between Hoffmeister and Avenue I. Crews have removed debris and invasive plants on the soon-to-be restored emergent wetland. They are preparing the site for the new boardwalk and native plants that will enhance the native ecology and make the wetland a welcoming place for birds, bee’s and butterflies. Let’s hope the Farmer’s Almanac forecast for a “Polar Coaster” winter does not cause any further delay.
Bicycle and pedestrian path on MO 370 Discovery Bridge
Construction of the new protected bicycle and pedestrian path on the MO 370 Discovery Bridge is underway! When complete, there will be a concrete barrier separating people walking and biking from cars driving on 370. This will make it easier and safer for people to walk or ride across the river to connect to the Missouri Greenway: Earth City Levee and Bridgeton’s Riverwoods Park in St. Louis County and the Katy Trail and Boschert Greenway in St Charles County. Crews have removed the existing trail on the north side of the bridge and are working on the retaining walls for the new paved connection to the bridge. Construction is expected to be complete in Spring 2019. The City of St. Charles is the lead partner on the project along with East West Gateway, Missouri Department of Transportation, the City of Bridgeton and Great Rivers Greenway.
Katherine Ward Burg Garden
This half-acre plaza adjacent to the Eads Bridge—made possible by a generous estate donation from the Katherine W. Burg Trust—has been designed to be a welcoming open space to attract visitors north from the Arch grounds to Laclede’s Landing. The project was slated to break ground earlier this year, but was delayed due to some important upgrades to the electrical infrastructure in downtown St. Louis. We expect to get the green light to proceed later this fall and construction should take about nine months.
We are collaborating with the City of Ferguson on the plans for the next segment of the Maline Greenway that will link the Ted Jones Trail to Forestwood Park and then on to West Florissant Avenue. This will make it possible for people to walk, ride a bike, use a wheelchair or push a stroller to connect to neighborhoods, businesses, schools and parks via a paved, accessible greenway rather than navigating a narrow shoulder along a busy roadway. By connecting to the Ted Jones Trail, it also opens up a connection to the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus! Project partners are currently studying existing conditions and various intersection crossing options in order to develop final design plans for construction starting in 2022.
St. Vincent Greenway
We are finalizing plans to extend the St. Vincent Greenway an additional 0.75 mile from Trojan Park to the site of the former Eskridge High School in Wellston. The route will extend north from Trojan Park along Stephen Jones Avenue and west to the intersection of Plymouth and Sutter Avenues. The expanded greenway will include a small “pocket park” at Plymouth and Stephen Jones that will overlook new native plantings along the banks of Engeholm Creek. These native plants swill not only attract pollinators, but also help slow down and filter storm water before it enters the creek—not to mention be a lovely place to relax and enjoy some fresh air! Plans are nearing final design and our team is coordinating with utilities and securing necessary permits. We hope to break ground in summer of 2020 and expect the work to last about nine months.