Mayor Francis G. Slay, Metro President and CEO John Nations, Streets Director Todd Waeltermann, and Board of Public Service President Rich Bradley gathered today on the Grand Bridge to discuss the upcoming closure, removal, and replacement of the Grand Avenue Viaduct and the effects of the closure on drivers, Metro users, and pedestrians.
The Grand Bridge is scheduled to close from Chouteau Avenue to the I-64 off-ramp on Monday, March 14, 2011. The bridge will close before the morning rush around 5:00 am. The bridge will be closed to traffic for about 14 months; the entire project is expected to be completed in 18-24 months. During that time, the current bridge will be completely removed and replaced. When finished, the project will provide a dramatic face-lift to Midtown. The new Grand Bridge will include:
* Two through lanes of traffic in each direction * Bus pullouts so passengers can board and deboard away from traffic * Shared use shoulders with bike lanes * 13-foot wide pedestrian walkways * Four 57-foot towers that are reminiscent of the original Grand Bridge's architecture * A 9-foot-wide raised, irrigated landscaped median that will maintained by St. Louis University * Decorative concrete and railings * Improved lighting and safety features for pedestrians and drivers.
During the GrandBridge construction project, Metro will redesign the Grand MetroLink Station and create a Scott Avenue Transit Plaza, which will feature seating, ticket vending machines, attractive landscaping, improved lighting, and a new park-ride lot.
"The current bridge is grand in name only," said Mayor Slay. "These improvements will help make one of the City's major north-south thoroughfares safer and more accessible for all individuals. I'm proud that Metro is taking this opportunity to update the Grand MetroLink Station - and at the end of this project, Grand will boast one of the most attractive and efficient bridges - and Metro stations - in the region."
The signed detour for the Grand Bridge closure will be on Compton Avenue which may be accessed by Chouteau Avenue on the south and by Forest Park Avenue (Market Street) on the north. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes, such as Vandeventer Avenue to the west or Jefferson Avenue to the east. The Grand Boulevard on-ramps and off-ramps from I-64 will remain open during construction.
The General Contractor for this $19,000,000 project is Kozeny-Wagner, Inc. The project cost is approximately $22,000,000. Eighty percent of the Grand Bridge project will be federally funded. The Grand MetroLink Station improvements are expected to cost about $7 million, 80% of which is also federally funded.
For more information on Metro routes during the Grand Bridge Construction, please visit www.metrostlouis.org.