Friday, January 27, 2012

(Near North) City to River?

With the depressed lanes in front of the Arch apparently a permanent fixture downtown as part of the City Arch River 2015 plan, does it make sense to look to the near northside and the elevated lanes of I-70 for removal and replacement with an at-grade boulevard?

The elevated lanes create a major barrier between the Bottle District, the near north side, and the riverside areas including and north of Laclede's Landing. As the economic benefits map above shows, there is still a lot to be gained by building a boulevard to the north of the Arch grounds.

A near northside boulevard could be accomplished at lower cost than the full length boulevard between the Poplar Street Bridge and the New Mississippi River Bridge, and still would be over a half mile in length.

(image courtesy City to River)


Kevin B said...

The elevated lanes go as the depressed do. Their whole reason for keeping I-70 (oh, I'm sorry...I-44) is because MODOT feels we need a consistent straight-line highway connecting 55 to 70 at the MRB.

So no -- no north boulevard. A whole swath of prime development area starting at Poplar and going north basically up to Branch would be freed up and reinvigorated if I-70 were gone. But until it is, it's a hostage.

MessengerBoy said...

If I could have one, well two, wishes.

1) A pedestrian crossing over I-70 from the Old Courthouse garden to the Arch sidewalks.

2) The removal of that horribly ugly and distracting casino lightshow sign next to I-70.

Anonymous said...

Use the space within the express lanes for the final link between the Branch Street Trestle and Downtown. Great Rivers should be a City-to-River partner.