MoDOT partners with Great Rivers Greenway, municipalities for I-44 shared use path over Meramec River, after citizen request for better connectivity | MoDOT

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People who use the Meramec Greenway (the shared use path for walking, running or biking) in Fenton and Sunset Hills will be able to cross the Meramec River into Kirkwood when a new shared use path over the river opens in 2022.

The Missouri Department of Transportation and Great Rivers Greenway today came to an initial funding agreement for a shared use path across the Meramec, next to the new I-44 Meramec River bridges. Construction on that project will start this fall, with the construction on the shared use path across the river expected to be complete late in the project.

MoDOT is funding the foundation for the bridge for the shared use path, while Great Rivers Greenway is funding the 12-foot-wide bridge structure across the river. Fenton, Kirkwood and Sunset Hills have tentatively agreed to seek funding for the work to connect the shared use path to the existing Meramec Greenway system on the west side of the Meramec. This connection will also link to Emmenegger Nature Park, Powder Valley Nature Center and Conservation Area, Possum Woods Conservation Area and nearby Laumeier Sculpture Park.

“Over the years, there has been a great deal of interest from the cycling community for a bridge that crosses the Meramec River. We are ecstatic that we are able to partner with Great Rivers Greenway, and the municipalities on both sides of the Meramec River to make this a reality,” said Tom Blair, MoDOT District Engineer for the St. Louis region.

“Bridging over a river is a rare opportunity in any region; creating access that connects communities changes how people get around the region,” said Susan Trautman, CEO of Great Rivers Greenway. “This collaboration of partners demonstrates what can be done when people work together to improve our quality of life – greenways create connections for people to get where they need to go, explore their communities and enjoy some fresh air.”

MoBikeFed comment: This is a great example of local citizens correctly identifying an important bicycle/pedestrian need, MoDOT listening to citizen concerns, and working together with local partners--including Great Rivers Greenway, Trailnet, and interested neighboring communities--to find a way to make it happen.

Kudos to the citizens who stood up and asked for this important connection, to MoDOT staff and leadership for listening, and for partners on the project for finding the funding and political will to support it.

More information about the project on the MoDOT web site:

http://modot.mo.gov/stlouis/major_projects/I-44MeramecRiverBridges.htm

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