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Big plans in place for the Arch grounds

by Matt Sczesny

KMOV.com

Posted on January 26, 2012 at 6:06 AM

(KMOV) -- The plans are amazing.  The price tag is a staggering $553 million.   There's no doubt the design of the arch grounds now make it difficult for tourists and visitors. 

Crossing Memorial Dr in the middle of summer can be dangerous at times.  So it starts with the new park covering Memorial and I-70 and creating a green mall space from the courthouse to the Arch.  MODOT is picking up the cost for that one, $57 million.  The money is already there.

But the other 500 million is the challenge.  Organizers say they need to do this like the renovation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York 1986.  Back then it was combination of private donations and federal money that got the job done.  

A fund raising plan is not yet in place, but they're working on it and even accepting donations now at http://www.cityarchriver.org/community/donation/

Committing federal money in these times is a decision Congress will wrestle with.  Choosing to donate is a personal decision we all must make.   But there is no denying the Arch is the centerpiece of the St Louis and the area and it is a national monument that deserves our best effort.

 Matt Sczesny is a reporter at KMOV-TV in St. Louis.

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