All five Arch design teams have stated their support for highway removal as the ultimate best solution for reconnecting downtown to the Arch grounds and riverfront. So where do we go from here?
The issue now becomes a challenge to planners and civil engineers. How to frame the question? Is highway removal a "go" or "no-go" proposition? Is the program subject to an "either/or" determination of feasible or infeasible?
Or, do we take the can-do approach of how do we make this work? Problems and challenges need solutions, which is the whole point of the Arch competition: to find solutions to problems and challenges, especially challenges of reestablishing lost connections.
Traffic people speak of "levels of service" (LOS). They strive for acceptable levels of service (ease of traffic flow), with an understanding that the LOS will fluctuate according to various times of day and demands on the system.
Ultimately, our course on highway removal will depend on the will of the community. The design teams have all said highway removal is the best solution. So now will St. Louis support or call for such a change?