Daniel Boone Missouri Bridge bike/ped crossing opens - major new bike/ped connection across MO River

This week, MoDOT will announce the official opening of the new bicycle/pedestrian Missouri River crossing at the Daniel Boone Bridge (I-64/40 connecting St Charles and St. Louis Counties). 

The new Daniel Boone Bridge bike/ped path connects the Katy Trail with the Monar
The new Daniel Boone Bridge bike/ped path connects the Katy Trail in St. Charles County with the Monarch Chesterfield Levee Trail in St. Louis County

The Boone Bridge is a very important connection for the state's bicycle and pedestrian network and we are thrilled to have this new trail connection open for use.

The Boone Bridge bicycle/pedestrian trail connects the Monarch Chesterfield Levee Trail on the south side of the river with the Katy Trail on the north side.  This is a very important connection for local, regional, statewide, and national trail and bikeway systems, because the nearest crossing points are 11 miles downstream at St. Charles and 54 miles upstream at Hermann.

The connection is important to the local trail systems, the regional Great Rivers Greenway River Ring system, the Quad-State Trail System, the Katy and Rock Island Trail systems, and several national bicycle touring routes, including the Lewis and Clark Bicycle Route, Great Rivers South Bicycle Route, and the American Discovery Trail.

Of 28 Missouri River bridges in Missouri, six currently have dedicated bicycle/pedestrian crossing facilities.  The Boone Bridge is the sventh and the Highway 47 bridge at Washington will be the eighth. We very much appreciate the work MoDOT and local agencies and municipalities along the river have done to create these important river crossings for people who walk and bicycle.

As recently as 2003, Missouri had just one bicycle/pedestrian accessible Missouri River crossing. Since that time, MoDOT and local communities have done amazing work to create greater access across one of the state's major geographical barriers for people who walk and bicycle.

These Missouri River crossings are important because they create the connections that allow people to walk and bicycle in Missouri and because they give people an opportunity to make a personal connection with the beauty of the Missouri River and the engineering marvel of the bridges that allow us easy access across the river.

Bicycle and pedestrian access across Missouri River Bridges - where do we stand?

We are very pleased that inclusion of safe bicycle and pedestrian crossings has become a routine part of major river bridge replacement in Missouri.  These crossings points are widely spaced, and so it is important to have good bicycle/pedestrian access on each and every one of them.

Previous work to encourage MoDOT to include bicycle and pedestrian access on these major river bridges was very difficult.  As recently as 2003, only one river bridge--at Boonville where the Katy Trail crosses the river--included any form of bicycle/pedestrian access.

The work of our members, allies, and supporters has made a real difference over the past decade and a half, as MoDOT now routinely and seriously considers bicycle and pedestrian access on every new river bridge, including bridges for interstate freeways. 

We now have seven dedicated bicycle and pedestrian crosspoints of the Missouri River, with five more in development.

These bridges now included dedicated bicycle/pedestrian paths:

  • Heart of America Bridge in Kansas City
  • Chouteau Trafficway Bridge in Kansas City
  • Hwy 5 Bridge at Boonville
  • Hwy 54 Bridge in Jefferson City
  • Hwy 19 Bridge in Hermann
  • Daniel Boone Bridge (I-64/40) in St Charles County/St Louis County
  • Hwy 364/Page Ave near St. Charles

Addition or inclusion of a separated bicycle/pedestrian path is now underway or in the planning stages on these bridges:

  • Hwy 47 Bridge at Washington, MO
  • Platte Purchase Bridge (Hwy 69) near Riverside, MO
  • Katy Bridge at Boonville - when complete, this will be the first dedicated bike/ped bridge across the Missouri River in Missouri
  • I-70 Missouri River Bridge at St. Charles - a bridge addition will add a dedicated bike/ped path in this important location
  • MO 370 Missouri River Bridge east of St Charles - the shoulders of this bridge are already used by bicyclists, but a new, separated bicycle/pedestrian path will improve safety, quality, and accessibility of this key crossing point

In addition, several bridges in more rural settings include wide shoulders suitable for bicycle or pedestrian use, including Hwy 13 at Lexington and 370 Hwy near St. Charles.

In addition, plans to replace the Champ Clark Bridge over the Mississippi River near Lousiana, MO are currently underway. It is unclear whether plans for this bridge will include safe bicycle and pedestrian access.

Again, it is the work of our members and allies across the state who have made these river crossings possible.  Many thanks to everyone who has worked to make these major river crossings a reality.

Boone Bridge bicycle and pedestrian access--the background

In 2011 when this project was announced, we wrote:

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has approved funding for an upgrade to the Daniel Boone Bridge, which carries traffic for I-64, U.S Route 40, and U.S. Route 61 across the Missouri River between St. Charles and St. Louis counties.

Daniel Boone Bridge in 2013 - the old bridge to the right has been replaced; the new bridge includes a bicycle/pedestrian trail
Daniel Boone Bridge in 2013 - the old bridge to the right has been replaced; the new bridge includes a bicycle/pedestrian trail

The approved plan for the new bridge span includes a protected/separate bicycle and pedestrian lane across the river. Construction is planned to start in 2013.

The lane is a key bicycle and pedestrian connection in the area and will connect the Katy Trail (on the north side of the Missouri River) to the Monarch Chesterfield Levee Trail on the south side of the river, and is generally an important link in this part of the St. Louis metro area for the trail and bikewalk system envisioned by the Great Rivers Greenway District.

The project fits within the goal of MoBikeFed's Vision of Bicycling and Walking in Missouri, to make bicycle and pedestrian accommodations on river crossings and bridges routine.  Just a few years ago, MoDOT would rarely or never include safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities on bridges, particularly if they are part of the interstate system, and now it is indeed becoming routine. 

More information

 

Creating a world-class bicycle and pedestrian system in Missouri is one of the four primary goals of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri. Creating bicycle and pedestrian access across Missouri's major rivers is one of the most important ways we achieve this goal.

When MoBikeFed began advocating for bike/ped access across major rivers in 1994, we had only one Missouri River crossing, at Boonville where the Katy Trail crosses the river. Today we have seven, with two more in progress.

Your ongoing membership and generous financial support make progress like this possible.  Thank you!

 

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