November 7, 2014
Ann Honious, 314-655-1614
ST. LOUIS –The National Park Service announced today that KCI Construction of St. Louis, Missouri was awarded a $4.76 million contract to provide improvements to Luther Ely Smith Square, part of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. This project is being accomplished through a partnership among CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, Great Rivers Greenway, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and the National Park Service. The design and construction of the project is being funded privately through the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation. Luther Ely Smith Square is a one-block green space east of the Old Courthouse bounded by Fourth Street, Chestnut Street, Market Street, and Memorial Drive.
Part of the overall CityArchRiver project, this component is designed to improve pedestrian access through accessible pathways that connect the Arch grounds with the Old Courthouse and City of St. Louis. Vehicular drop-off areas will be close to the new museum and visitor center entrance. The completed project will consist of a one-block, landscaped park over I-44, providing a new park experience for visitors.
"The work at Luther Ely Smith Square will greatly improve visitor access to the Arch and surrounding area," said Tom Bradley, superintendent of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. "This project is a true partnership effort that will benefit all visitors to the St. Louis region."
Once completed, the new Luther Ely Smith Square and park over the highway will provide a seamless park experience for users in downtown St. Louis by allowing visitors to walk from Fourth Street to the Arch and to the riverfront without a stair step or curb in their path.
"This is one of the first construction projects within the CityArchRiver project funded completely with private donations," said Maggie Hales, executive director of CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation. "We are proud to partner with the National Park Service and MoDOT on this project and show how these public-private partnerships can create vibrant, welcoming public spaces for generations to enjoy."
The Gateway Arch will remain open to the public during this project. Construction fences will guide users from the temporary main entrance to the park at Walnut Street through the construction area to the Arch entrance. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the Arch and are encouraged watch the progress throughout construction. You can keep up to date on construction and how to access the Arch at www.cityarchriver.org/construction or gatewayarch.com.
About Jefferson National Expansion Memorial: The Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse are part of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, located on the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. The Gateway Arch is open daily from 8 am to 10 pm, except during the winter months, when hours are 9 am to 6 pm, from Labor Day through Memorial Day weekend. The Old Courthouse is open daily year-round from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Most programs are FREE of charge and open to the public. Programs and events at the park are made possible by the generous support from our cooperating association, Jefferson National Parks Association, and Bi-State Development Agency. For more information about programs and events, please call 877.982.1410 or go to gatewayarch.com.
About CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation: The CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to ensure that the Gateway Arch, its grounds, neighboring public space, and attractions will be a vital, welcoming, well-supported resource to the community and nation for generations to come. The Foundation works in partnership with the National Park Service, Missouri Department of Transportation, Great Rivers Greenway District, City of St. Louis, Bi-State Development Agency, and many other organizations. For more information, visit www.cityarchriver.org.
About Great Rivers Greenway: Great Rivers Greenway is making St. Louis an even better place to live by connecting our region with a network of greenways so you can be active, get where you need to go and enjoy being outside. Great Rivers Greenway is the public organization created in 2000 by a vote of the people of St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County. The long term vision for St. Louis is called the River Ring, where more than 600 miles of trails connect communities, street bike routes and transit, and our region's great rivers and parks together in a network of greenways. For more info, visit www.greatriversgreenway.org.