Families are invited to attend a lunchtime celebration of the CityArchRiver 2015 project at noon on Thursday, Nov. 14. The event, which will be held at Riverfront Overlook Stage at the bottom of the Gateway Arch Grand Staircase, includes a groundbreaking ceremony for the Central Riverfront project.
The Central Riverfront project, part of the CityArchRiver 2015 initiative, aims to improve the safety and accessibility of the Mississippi Riverfront and Gateway Arch grounds for visitors and residents. Great Rivers Greenway, which is overseeing work on the project, will transform Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard into an enhanced 1.5-mile-long corridor usable by pedestrians of all abilities, bicyclists and vehicles, while providing access to the riverboats and other levee activities. Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard will also be elevated to reduce flooding, and lighting and plantings will be added. In the fall of 2014, work will begin on the construction of accessible river walk pathways from the Arch to the riverfront.
Residents are encouraged to attend the groundbreaking to see the riverfront in its current state one last time and view renderings of how it will look when the project is finished in 2015. Attendees will be able to purchase and sample food from several area food trucks, including Deli on a Roll, The Sweet Devine, Guerilla Street Food and Hot Aztec. Fish Eye Fun will also be on site taking commemorative photos of guests free of charge.
The Central Riverfront Trail will also serve as a key connector in Great Rivers Greenway's planned region-wide system of high-quality greenways, parks and trails known as The River Ring. Once complete, the south end of the trail will provide access to the southern portion of the Mississippi River Greenway, which will eventually connect to Jefferson Barracks Park in South St. Louis County, while the north end of the Central Riverfront trail will link to the North Riverfront Trail at Biddle St. Residents from the Metro East will be able to directly access the riverfront and Gateway Arch grounds via the McKinley Bridge Bikeway and Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, creating a truly regional connection to our region's most iconic structure.
Construction will be done in two phases to allow continued access to the riverfront. Starting the week of Nov. 18, Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard will be closed from Chouteau Avenue to the grand staircase. In the fall of 2014, Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard will be closed from the grand staircase to Biddle Street. The entire project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015.