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Poll: Thoughts on the $630 million dollar Mississippi River bridge

On Monday officials will “break ground” for the new $640 million dollar bridge across the Mississippi River.  The ceremony will take place on the historic Eads Bridge.

ABOVE: Section drawing of new bridge. Click image to view official website.

Sadly I will not be able to attend the event.  The poll for this week asks your thoughts on the new bridge which is expected to be complete by February 2014.  The poll is in the upper right sidebar.

– Steve Patterson


Hearing notice locations inconsistent

A few days ago I blogged about public notice signs facing the road rather than the sidewalk (Public notice signs face drivers, not pedestrians).  Then I spotted a trio of notices two blocks to the West posted on a window visible from the sidewalk, a good location.

I don’t think I had anything to do with a shift in policy, my guess is those who post the notices are just inconsistent.  All three of these hearings are on the same date & time, each permit requires notice.  I had long wondered the difference between a “summer garden” and a Side-walk cafe” so I inquired with Robert Kraiberg, Commissioner of the city’s Excise Division.  His response:

“A Summer Garden permit is obtain if tables & chairs are placed in the patio area of a licensed premise.  Whereas a Sidewalk Cafe permit is obtain if tables & chairs are placed on the City Sidewalk.  With the Sidewalk Cafe permit one would need to also go through the Board of Public Service to obtain what is called a Sidewalk Encroachment Permit as well.

I’m still a bit confused how a place would need both a summer garden and sidewalk cafe permit but I’ll leave that question for another day.

– Steve Patterson


I-70 closure not a major problem

March 13, 2010 Downtown, Events/Meetings, Transportation Comments Off on I-70 closure not a major problem

A week ago Sunday I drove the Northbound detour as all traffic was routed onto surface streets as MoDOT closed I-70 downtown as they removed the Madison Ave overpass.

ABOVE: a closed I-70 as seen from St. Louis Ave
ABOVE: a closed I-70 as seen from St. Louis Ave

Traffic made its way up Broadway and back onto I-70 between Madison and St. Louis Ave. It was not fast but it kept moving.

ABOVE: I-70 where depressed lanes rise up above grade

I’m now more convinced than ever that after I-70 is moved to the new bridge that we can convert the existing highway lanes to a tree-lined boulevard.  The grassroots group City to River has organized a walking tour downtown this coming Saturday, March 20th (first day of Spring).  The tour begins at the Stan Musial statue on the West side of Busch Stadium, 3pm (City to River is hosting a walking tour of Memorial Drive).  Arrive via the stadium MetroLink station, the tour concludes near the Eads Bridge MetroLink station.

– Steve Patterson


Maryland Heights residents to discuss redesign of two highway interchanges

February 17, 2010 Events/Meetings, Planning & Design, St. Louis County, Transportation Comments Off on Maryland Heights residents to discuss redesign of two highway interchanges

ABOVE: I-270 & DORSETT: Source: MoDOT
ABOVE: Looking east on Dorsett at the southbound Interstate 270 on-ramp. Source: MoDOT

Maryland Heights Residents for Responsible Growth, is hosting a public event with MoDOT and the City of Maryland Heights on the reconstruction of the I-270 interchanges at Dorsett Road and Page Avenue, which begin this month.

Wednesday – February 17, 2010
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Presentation and Q&A with MoDOT and City of Maryland Heights Public Works
7:00 -8:00 p.m. – Open Forum with Community

Maryland Heights Community Centre – Auditorium
2344 McKelvey Road
Maryland Heights, MO 63043

This is the first public forum with specific details and time lines on this two-year construction project. The project will start on I-270 and Dorsett Road the first year, then move to Page Avenue interchange in 2011. The project is expected to take two years. MoDOT will also be showing the public the animated driving sequences on the “divergent diamond” design on Dorsett at the I-270 interchange.

180,000 cars a day travel on I-270 through Maryland Heights every day and this is going to cause big disruptions for both local traffic in Maryland Heights, Westport and Creve Couer as well as those who are just traveling through the area on I-270 from Page Ave. to I-70. There will be lane detours and reduced lanes as they completely rebuild the bridges/interchanges.

There will also be a major, parallel Maryland Heights city project moving Prospect Parkway away from the rebuilt Dorsett interchange which will place the finished road further east on Dorsett. It will relocate the road on the north side of Dorsett past Syberg’s and cross to the south-side of Dorsett just east of the Drury Inn. The south-side construction will feature a “jug-handle” design and is designed to assist with traffic congestion from the newly expanded Edward Jones campus as well as funnel traffic in and out of the Westport area.

Maryland Heights Residents is a relatively new organization that originally formed in 2008 in response to development proposals for the Howard Bend area. In general, there seemed to be no community information or engagement with residents of Maryland Heights. Only the business and property owners were routinely notified of public meetings and asked to participate in community development discussions. The residents realized we needed to step up as citizens and inject ourselves into the process.

The organization has developed since then into a group dedicated to making Maryland Heights a better place to live and giving residents a voice in community development. Our four main goals are:

  • Preserve Howard Bend green space
  • Revitalize our neighborhoods
  • Protect our environment
  • Promote public engagement

You can get more information on Maryland Heights Residents for Responsible Growth at www.marylandheightsresidents.com.

Full disclosure: I am one of the organizing partners for Maryland Heights Residents for Responsible Growth.

– Deborah Moulton


New exhibit focuses on the St. Louis riverfront that was razed in the 1940s

February 6, 2010 Downtown, Events/Meetings 5 Comments

ABOVE: One of the 40 new paintings by Shelia Harris for this exhibit
ABOVE: One of the 40 new paintings by Shelia Harris for this exhibit

The City of St. Louis had already cleared 40 city blocks of the riverfront before the competition was held that resulted in Eero Saarinen’s Arch. The city’s oldest buildings and street grid were lost in the process. All that remains are old photos, maps, drawings and the Old Cathedral.  Tomorrow the National Park Service opens a new exhibit focusing on what was lost:

“(St. Louis, MO)- Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will host a special exhibit from St. Louis artist Sheila Harris at the Old Courthouse from Feb. 14 through Aug. 22, 2010. Created especially for the memorial, the exhibit consists of nearly 40 watercolor paintings of buildings that once stood on the Arch grounds. The exhibit will launch with an artisit’s reception on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 2 p.m.

While the exhibit is on display at the Old Courthouse, Harris will discuss and demonstrate her technique during several scheduleded appearances. A schedule of the appearances can be found online at www.nps.gov/jeff.

For further information on the exhibit click here (PDF).”

Photos and maps will also be on display. Anyone who loves St. Louis’ history should see this exhibit.

– Steve Patterson