City to River has long championed the idea of converting a portion of I-70 in downtown St. Louis to an urban boulevard. The vision has garnered support in the business community, from civic organizations and the public. But to-date had not received political support and had not moved forward in the region’s official planning process. That’s changed with the inclusion of I-70 removal in the Downtown Multimodal Access RFP issued by the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC).
The RFP asks that focused consideration be given to short-term connectivity (0 to 5 years), specifically the CityArchRiver plans to remove Washington Avenue adjacent to the Eads Bridge and portions of Memorial Drive next to the Arch grounds, and long-term connectivity (5+ years). The RFP states: In particular, address the potential removal of the elevated sections of I-70 fromnorth of Pine St. to O’Fallon St, to determine feasibility and traffic impacts should the elevatedsections be completely removed, brought to grade, and what various alternatives might beconsidered for this scenario to occur long-term.
You can find more regarding the City to River vision here: Our Proposal: A New Front Door for St. Louis. Visit our Media page to catch up on more news regarding City to River and the boulevard concept. Converting I-70 to an urban Interstate would give St. Louis a new front door. The concept has been shown to create more than $1.1B in new development opportunities and increase the value of existing developments. The majority of traffic using this section of I-70 is entering and exiting downtown St. Louis, a process made significantly easier with a boulevard that utilizes the efficient street grid. Through traffic would drive approximately one mile at an average speed of 20mph instead of the current 50mph average on I-70, resulting in less than two additional minutes in drive time.