Thursday, April 14, 2011

Elevated Lanes Being Removed in St. Louis

Minimal Traffic Delays Observed

No, we're not referring to the eyesore elevated lanes of I-70 which cut off downtown from Laclede's Landing and the north riverfront, but rather the elevated lanes of Grand Avenue between Chouteau and the main St. Louis University campus.

Approximating that Grand through this stretch usually carries about 30,000 cars per day*, closing it down and seeing minimal traffic delays demonstrates the vast amount of excess road capacity in St. Louis.

The elevated lanes of Grand are being demolished because they have come to the end of their useful life. The same is true of many of the 1960s and older sections of elevated roads around the country, including the elevated lanes of the soon to be former I-70 through downtown.

With I-70 being rerouted north of downtown over the new Mississippi River Bridge; with gas prices approaching $5 per gallon; with governments running out of money to rebuild aging elevated highway structures; and, with a growing emphasis on reconnecting downtown to the river, is the foundation being laid for the eventual removal of the elevated interstate structure from downtown St. Louis once and for all?

*: revised based on reader "Herbie's" comment.


Herbie said...

Grand only carries 30,000 vehicles per day, but your point remains the same.

Scott Pluff said...

Does everyone know about the local group City to River? Website:

What can I do as a city resident to tear out I-70 and replace with an at-grade boulevard? Seems like the time is now, with the arch ground redesign in the works. They say I-70 couldn't come out in time to meet the 50th anniv deadline so they couldn't include that in the project or planning.

Anonymous said...

Keep an eye out for EW Gateway's new HUD funded sustainability planning initiative for the St. Louis region.

The planning project will provide an opportunity for the public to weigh in with ideas on ways to improve the quality of life in the St. Louis region.

charlie said...

Vandeventer and Compton are awful during peak times now. Access to the SLU medical campus area is limited.

Rick Bonasch said...

Charlie -

I've been through the Vandeventer intersection many times during peak commute times and there's been no backups.

- Rick