Comment on the Arch Grounds Environmental Assessment through March 1st

February 22nd, 2013

There is just over a week left to comment on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the implementation of the City Arch River 2015 plan for the Arch grounds. City to River supporters of a new Memorial Boulevard to replace the depressed highway lanes that separate the Arch grounds from Downtown should be aware that the EA excludes the one-block wide “Lid” project between Market & Chestnut Streets and closure of Memorial Drive. This portion of the City Arch River 2015 plan is already funded and will begin construction next year.

City to River suporters should understand though that a new Memorial Boulevard IS still possible north of Washington Avenue with removal of the oppressive elevated highway lanes and would provide needed connections between Laclede’s Landing, Downtown and the Edward Jones Dome as well as improve development prospects for the Bottle District site and the area north of the Lumiere Casino and Four Seasons Hotel. Please include in your comments that no work should be done that would hamper this transformative change that would re-unite the City and the Mississippi River.

The Environmental Assessment document covers three scenarios for the remainder of the items envisioned for the grounds, a “no-action” alternative, a “moderate change” alternative and a “maximum change” alternative. An online comment form can be found near the top of the page linked above that contains the EA document and components for viewing. Please use this to give your opinions about the various aspects of the project before midnight on March 1st.

JNEM Elements EA

Of particular interest for the “maximum change” alternative is the north end of the park which would include removal of the existing Arch parking garage and also removal of Washington Avenue from Memorial Drive (which will be reduced to a highway exit ramp) to Leonor K. Sullivan. While this stretch of Washington was shifted slightly during the construction of the Arch, it is one of the oldest surviving connections to the riverfront, and should be improved with a new streetscape, instead of being removed. With the garage removed, it is still quite possible to construct the new lawn and landscaped accessible pathway without completely removing the street.

It should be noted that re-building Leonor K. Sullivan into boulevard that will include a dedicated bike path, a pedestrian promenade as well as driving lanes has also been funded and it was announced this morning that this project will be fast-tracked due to savings with the lid. City to River enthusiastically supports this element of the overall project which will provide better.

City to River also endorses several other aspects of the overall City Arch River 2015 plan including new accessible paths flanking the areas north and south of the grand staircase and renovation + expansion of the Arch Visitors Center & Museum of Westward Expansion with a new west entrance near the present location of Memorial Drive. The new west entrance will work in conjunction with the parking strategy recommended by a parking study that was completed to address parking with the removal of the current Arch grounds garage. The strategy involves directing Arch visitors to underutilized parking garages in the Downtown core including the Busch Stadium East Garage, the Kiener East Garage and the former St. Louis Centre East Garage on Broadway. City to River endorses this strategy as it will encourage Arch and riverfront visitors to explore Downtown St. Louis and patronize businesses in the core.

Annual City+Arch+River Update Thursday Evening

February 19th, 2013

CityArchRiver 2015 partners will host the third annual Report to the Community on Thursday, February 21. The report will provide the latest news and updates on the project.

Representatives from CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, the National Park Service, Haley Sharpe Design, Missouri Department of Transportation and Great Rivers Greenway District will discuss progress to date and describe new developments. Representatives will be available to answer questions and take comments during an open house immediately following the program.

  • CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation will provide an overview of 2012 project milestones while previewing developments on the horizon in 2013 and beyond.
  • The National Park Service will discuss the importance of partnerships and the agency’s support of CityArchRiver 2015
    Haley Sharpe Design will explain plans for the new museum and its exhibits.
  • MoDOT will detail the construction schedule for the transportation components of the project and ongoing communication of those changes to the public.
  • Great Rivers Greenway will provide updates on riverfront development and citizen engagement for CityArchRiver 2015 project components.

The Report to the Community will be held at the Ferrara Theatre in the America’s Center at 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, Mo. 63101. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the presentation scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. After the event concludes, attendees are invited to participate in the open house in the lobby from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

MoDOT Announces Public Open House

April 2nd, 2012

MoDOT has announced a public open house on Tuesday, April 10th in downtown to view displays and converse with MoDOT representatives regarding planned improvements to the Arch grounds. This likely comes as welcome news to a public long hungry for information about the region’s largest, most iconic project. An iconic project they recently discovered they’d be asked to help pay for, yet still know relatively little about.


This public event follows the other lone example of public engagement, the NPS Environmental Assessment (EA) in which 119 of 123 written submissions called for at least studying replacing the highway with a boulevard and reconnected street grid. These comments were dismissed from the NPS EA as out of scope, although they would be perfectly relevant were it not for the fragmentation that results from independent environmental reviews for the same overall project.


Because this event is being used to fulfill the minimum requirements for public participation as required by federal law, this may be the only opportunity to voice your opinion on the proposal that will likely direct the inertia at heart of our city for the foreseeable future. While it falls during the unfortunate afternoon hours of 3:00-5:00 PM, the open house style, informal nature of the event is conducive to quick pop-ins. So, stop by, ask questions and let MoDOT know what you think of the current proposal.

 

MoDOT St. Louis District Press Releases Page

Prepared by Andrew Gates 314/453-1808

April 02, 2012
MoDOT to hold public meeting on Park over the Highway alternatives
ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold an open-house style public meeting to allow the public to discuss MoDOT’s portion of the CityArchRiver 2015 project.

The public meeting is scheduled April 10, between 3 and 5 p.m. in the St. Louis City Hall Board of Aldermen boardroom (on the second floor), 1200 Market Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 63103.

During the meeting, MoDOT engineers will be on hand to discuss several proposed alternatives for the Park over the Highway portion of the CAR2015 project, to include what the department believes is the preferred alternative. Engineers will also be able to discuss potential impacts of each alternative.

This meeting will allow the public to provide input, and comments, either directly to the engineers or in written comments, on the alternatives presented. This meeting is part of the process to complete necessary Federal requirements for the project.

Since there are no formal presentations during the public meeting, participants may attend at any time during the open house.

 

first public revision by MVVA following selection as project designer

 

the most recent revisions to museum entry made public so far by project organizers

 

the City to River vision of a 'lid' and boulevard working together - newly developable land shown in orange