(KMOV.com) -- MoDOT is taking public comments about a plan to place a "lid" over the depressed sections of I-70 in front of the Arch grounds, in an effort to improve accessibility between the Arch and downtown St. Louis.
Read about MoDOT's preferred plan here: www.modot.org/stlouis/major_projects/ParkOvertheHighwayCar2015virtualhearing.htm
Here's a quick-view map of the proposed traffic changes: www.modot.org/stlouis/major_projects/documents/3rdStreetDisplay_for3rdstreet_withCMT_2.pdf
The non-profit City Arch River foundation says that $57 million (a mix of federal, state, local, and private money) is set aside to construct the lid by 2015, the 50th Anniversary of the Gateway Arch grounds.
Earlier this summer, Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill that allows local governments to ask voters for a sales tax hike to fund improvements to the Arch and area parks.
CityArchRiver offers the full scope of the plan, as it stands now, here: www.cityarchriver.org/about-the-project/plan-scope/
The 24th Ward Alderman, Scott Ogilvie, criticized the plan - questioning how most of the $500 million project would be funded and argues against fast-tracking any decisions in order to make the 2015 deadline.
Instead, Olilvie writes that Forest Park improvements should serve as a model for the Arch plan: ward24stl.com/confused-by-plans-for-the-arch-grounds/
Another group, City to River, proposes that MoDOT should consider removing I-70 from downtown St. Louis: www.citytoriver.org/our_proposal/
"We have two $500 million projects going on at the same time downtown. This is the only time it's going to happen for decades and they're not coordinated. We're not waiting to see what the impact of the new bridge and rerouting I-70 is before we tear up a huge part of downtown," said City to River's Chairman Alex Ihnen.
"We need to do it right," he added.
You can submit a public comment to MoDOT here by Friday: www.modot.mo.gov/stlouis/PublicMeetingComments.htm