St. Louis Reneges on Plan to Study Highway Teardown

With great fanfare, St. Louis put out an RFP last year to study the conversion of a portion of the elevated I-70 highway separating downtown St. Louis from its historic riverfront into a boulevard. That study has been scrapped for vague reasons.
June 26, 2013, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"City development officials kicked off last year a study that was to take a look at tearing down the elevated section of Interstate 70 that divides the northern half of downtown St. Louis from the riverfront," reports Tim Logan. "The study was scheduled to be done in December, but instead was quietly put on hold."

"Now it is finally coming off the shelf, apparently without any look at the elevated highway."

At nextSTL, Alex Ihnen takes a look at the machinations that may have led to the omission, and the implications for downtown improvement efforts.  

"After the story went live on the Post-Dispatch website, Logan later Tweeted: City called back about I-70 elevated lanes. Said they were cut from downtown study b/c of $, not unwillingness. Still, no $ for new study. There's no word yet if the study will completely omit the I-70 to boulevard concept, or simply not offer a full view of options," observes Ihnen. 

"The issue at hand is really the issue of how to envision the future of St. Louis, and not the political and hidden power plays that we all understand shape the city to some degree," he continues. "But why isn’t anyone willing to own and explain the apparent controversy surrounding the study? When will a political victory over (perceived) opponents not be an end unto itself? When will the most simple step of discussing ideas for our city’s future be rewarded?"

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Published on Monday, June 24, 2013 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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