Two greenway projects were recently awarded a total of $7 million through the regional planning agency, East-West Gateway Council of Governments.
Great Rivers Greenway is dedicated to our mission to make the St. Louis region a more vibrant place to live, work and play by developing a regional network of greenways. We collaborate with partners all around the region to fulfill the community’s vision for this network and we take our job of stewarding the taxpayers’ investment very seriously.
As you may know, we have been working with municipal partners on a project to connect Deer Creek Greenway from Deer Creek Park and shopping center through the cities of Maplewood and St. Louis to connect to the River des Peres Greenway. This project originated in 2004 and has had various alignments studied to determine feasibility over the past 14 years. In 2015, with supporting letters from the Cities of Maplewood and St. Louis and St. Louis County, Great Rivers Greenway successfully secured a $1.6 million federal grant for the northern route option.
When an alternate alignment (along the creek) showed signs of being feasible again in August 2017, Great Rivers Greenway met with the Maplewood City Council to discuss options. The community engagement process continued with a Maplewood public meeting in October, an online survey, an outreach event at the Schlafly Farmer’s Market in Maplewood in December, a community workshop at Maplewood City Hall in December and a neighborhood meeting in January in the City of St. Louis, the other municipal partner on this project. The community’s preference was for the northern alignment and we shared the full results of the engagement efforts with all project partners.
Maplewood City Council discussed the alignment options during several Council meetings and work sessions and had difficulty reaching consensus, reporting a stalemate after the February 13, 2018 Council meeting. The City of Maplewood later communicated preference for the northern route and provided a list of topics and concerns to explore, many of which were outside the scope and timeline of the original greenway project as described in the federal grant.
With these new topics for discussion, we determined the project was not ready to move forward as originally planned, so we declined the $1.6 million from East West Gateway Council of Governments to release this project from those deadlines.
While we declined the grant, we offered the City of Maplewood the opportunity to move forward in the future on a collaborative planning process to develop a new scope for the project along the greenway segment in Maplewood. The City of Maplewood agreed to move forward and collaborate with us and the City of St. Louis on a feasibility study of the previously established northern route option. Together, we have explored what’s feasible, what funding mechanisms are available, what is within the scope of a greenway project and what is a municipal issue for the City of Maplewood to address. It’s important to note that while we declined the original grant, this does not eliminate the possibility of applying for grants for this project in the future.
Engineers and other consultants, with community input, completed a safety evaluation of three intersections and developed design solutions that consider the needs of people walking, riding bikes or driving a car. In Fall 2019, the results were reviewed in detail by representatives of Union Pacific Railroad and the Federal Railroad Administration for those intersections that connect with the train tracks. The greenway is now in the preliminary design phase. This work will continue through 2020.
We’ll also be working with the City of Webster Groves to develop a small pocket park/pedestrian trailhead at Big Bend and Oxford (formerly McDonalds) that will connect to the future Maplewood greenway.
Archive of Open Houses/Community Meetings
Project partners hosted an Open House and Community Meeting on Wednesday November 14, 2018 at the Maplewood Fire house to share the potential intersection options.
From that 11.14.18 meeting:
At the November 2018 Open House, the community was asked to share feedback about each of the potential intersection options along the proposed greenway extension. Project partners captured this input and prepared a presentation (link below) detailing the community’s preferred option for each intersection along with cost estimates for each option. On Thursday January 24, 2019, project partners hosted an Open House and Community Meeting at the Maplewood Fire House to share the community feedback.
From the 1.24.2019 meeting:
As always, we will keep you informed as this project evolves and we appreciate your continued input! Questions welcome anytime. Hope to see you out on the greenways or at a program or event soon.
Our team has been busy planning and building new greenways for you to explore and enjoy! Thanks to our many partners, and tremendous community feedback, we’ll be cutting the ribbon on several expanded greenways this year. We’ll also break ground on a few new projects in 2018. Here’s a quick update:
River des Peres Greenway
We’re putting the finishing touches on the extension of the River des Peres Greenway from the Shrewsbury- Lansdowne MetroLink to Slay Park. Trees and shrubs are all in place and wayfinding signs will be placed in the coming weeks. Thanks to this most recent expansion, the greenway now stretches a full 9.6 miles and connects to more places than ever before!
Centennial Greenway: Bridges over 364 & 94 in St. Charles County
In April, we’ll celebrate the expansion of the Centennial Greenway in St. Charles County over Highways 364 and 94. It now connects both sides of the community so people can safely walk or ride a bike across these busy highways. New connections to parks, schools, businesses and the Katy Trail on foot or bike are now possible thanks to these two bridges. Save the date for a ribbon cutting celebration with our partners on April 7, 2018!
Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave Park
In May, we’ll open the expanded greenway in Cliff Cave Park with a ribbon cutting May 4th and Community Day May 6th. This 2 mile expansion connects the existing greenway to the upper section of the park so it is more accessible for everyone. There’s also a new parking lot, restrooms and a neighborhood spur that connects to Telegraph Road. Wait ‘til you see the amazing view of the Mississippi River from the new overlook on the bluff!
Fee Fee Greenway: Aquaport to Creve Coeur Park
On June 14th, we’ll cut another ribbon on the expanded Fee Fee Greenway. This two mile extension along Quarry at Crystal Springs golf course makes it possible to walk or ride a bike all the way from Aquaport in Maryland Heights to Creve Coeur Park.
Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail
On June 24th, we’ll open the new trailhead at the south end of the greenway near Orlando’s. The first phase of this eagerly anticipated expansion includes restrooms, benches, landscaping and a play structure. As part of the festivities, we’ll also host an open house so you can learn more about the second phase of the project that will extend the greenway an additional two miles to connect with the River des Peres Greenway.
Deer Creek Greenway: Deer Creek Park to Lorraine Davis Park
Next fall, we’ll celebrate the 1.5 mile extension of the Deer Creek Greenway from Webster Groves Deer Creek Park to Lorraine Davis Park. When complete, there will be a total of 2.2 miles to explore and enjoy! There will also be a new boardwalk, landscaping with native plants, and a new pavilion with picnic tables and a drinking fountain in Lorraine Davis Park.
What’s Coming in 2018
The Great Rivers Greenway Board has approved funding to advance several projects in 2018. Here are a few highlights:
Together with our partners, we’ll advance the concepts for the Chouteau Greenway as the design competition continues through the end of June. See the latest updates here. Get the latest information on the Chouteau Greenway here.
Construction will soon begin on the first segment of the Maline Greenway in Bella Fontaine Park. Plans include the renovation of existing trails, replacement of three pedestrian bridges, and construction of an underpass beneath Lewis and Clark Boulevard that will connect both sides of the park, providing area residents with a safer way to enjoy all the park’s amenities and improved options for accessing transit.
New Trailhead on Deer Creek Greenway
Bids are out for a new trailhead on Marshall Avenue along the route of the Deer Creek Greenway that’s currently under construction. It will offer parking, a water fountain, a pavilion, benches, restored streambank habitat and more!
Centennial Greenway: Interstate I-70 and Delmar Improvements
We are working with our partners on the final designs to improve the greenway where it crosses over Delmar at I-170 in the City of University City. The goal is to make it safer and easier for people to navigate this intersection whether they are on foot, bike or in a car.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Construction to extend the Deer Creek Greenway 1.5 miles from its current endpoint in Webster Groves’ Deer Creek Park and connect it with Lorraine Davis Park is underway. The paved greenway will provide residents with more opportunities to connect with nature by walking, riding bikes, pushing a stroller, or using a wheelchair. The extension will add 1.5 miles to the existing 0.7-mile greenway, for a total of 2.2 miles to explore and enjoy.
The existing segment parallels Deer Creek, running from Big Bend Boulevard through Deer Creek Shopping Center and Maplewood’s Deer Creek Park (Rocket Park) and ending at Deer Creek Park in Webster Groves. The expanded route will extend from Deer Creek Park, along Pacific Avenue, through Barnickle Park to Lorraine Davis Park, ending at Ravine Avenue.
While most of the Deer Creek Greenway extension will involve the construction of a new multi-use path for anyone running, walking or riding a bike, portions of the expansion will utilize existing sidewalks and roadways. The project will make use of the existing sidewalk along East Pacific Avenue between Barnickle Park and Deer Creek Park. Modifications and additions will be made to the sidewalk to make the entirety of this half-mile path ADA accessible. For cyclists traveling between these two parks, shared-lane arrows, or “sharrows,” will be applied to the surface of Pacific.
In addition to a paved trail, plans call for new trees, shrubs and native grasses to be planted along the greenway. A few benches will also be strategically placed to allow residents to relax and enjoy the fresh air. In Lorraine Davis Park, plans include boardwalks, landscaping with native plants, and a new pavilion with picnic tables and a drinking fountain. A new overlook adjacent to the pavilion will offer views of the confluence of Deer and Shady Creeks.
In Barnickle Park, project plans include a new basketball court. The City of Webster Groves will also be building a new playground. As part of a separate project, plans are underway to construct a new trailhead at Marshall Avenue near the lower entrance to Owen Development, Inc.
“We are eager to bring this expanded greenway to life for people of all ages and abilities to connect to parks, neighborhoods, shopping and more,” says Angelica Gutierrez, Great Rivers Greenway project manager. “We are grateful for our partners at the City of Webster Groves and other stakeholders who have helped shape the plans for this new community asset.”
Portions of Lorraine Davis Park, Barnickle Park and Deer Creek Park will be closed at different stages throughout construction. Project partners are working together to minimize impact to the existing amenities and parking. Construction is expected to be complete in Fall 2018.
Our project managers have been busy overseeing greenway construction throughout the St. Louis region. Here are the latest updates:
In St. Charles County, crews have been hard at work building the supporting walls for the bridges that will extend the Centennial Greenway over Highways 364 and 94. The bridge truss segments will be assembled on site and then separately hoisted into place in September. This will require four overnight lane closures and all project partners are working together to minimize inconvenience to motorists who live and work in this area. Stay tuned for the exact dates when these new bridges will be set in place!
In south St. Louis County, work continues in the Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave County Park where contractors have placed two bridges, including a 210 foot bridge over Cliff Cave Road. Work continues on a new overlook which will provide visitors with a safe vista of the Mississippi River’s breathtaking grandeur. Paving on the east side of the project, the new parking lot, and restroom installation is planned for the coming weeks.
In the City of St. Louis, construction of a new extension to the River des Peres Greenway is substantially complete between Lansdowne and Interstate 44. Work continues on the Lansdowne bridge where the greenway will connect to the Shrewsbury MetroLink Station. Contractors are now focused on the stretch of greenway north of Interstate 44 to Francis R. Slay Park. Keep an eye out for new trees that will be installed this fall!
In Maryland Heights, the expansion of the Fee Fee Greenway from its current endpoint in McKelvey Woods to Creve Coeur County Park is well underway. Crews are preparing to set a 70 foot bridge across Fee Fee Creek next month. When the project is complete in early to mid-2018, the three mile greenway will connect the new Maryland Heights Community Center and Aquaport with Creve Coeur County Park.
Coming Soon: Bids for the construction of the first phase of the Gravois Greenway expansion and Deer Creek Greenway extension to Lorraine Davis Park were received the week of August 21. The Great Rivers Greenway Board of Directors will be reviewing them at our September board meeting. We’ll let you know when you can look forward to these projects breaking ground!
The plans call for a 1.5 mile expansion from its current endpoint in Webster Groves’ Deer Creek Park through Barnickle Park and to Lorraine Davis Park, ending at Ravine Avenue for a total of 2.2 miles. The existing 0.7 mile greenway segment parallels Deer Creek from Big Bend Boulevard through Deer Creek Shopping Center and Maplewood’s Deer Creek Park (Rocket Park) to Deer Creek Park in Webster Groves.
We would also appreciate your feedback on the type of amenities you would like to see, how you anticipate using the greenway as well as contact information so we can provide ongoing project updates. Click here for the survey and to input your contact information.
We are excited to bring this new greenway to life for everyone to enjoy!