Looking through my calendar for next month, I have noticed that a scheduled event on the McKinley Bridge had been crossed off. Although the historic bridge has been closed since 2001 and was not officially scheduled to reopen to vehicle traffic until later in the fall, I had planned to join several thousand bicyclists on August 25 to celebrate the dedication of a new suspended bikeway on the bridge. However, officials of the Great Rivers Greenway District, which has co-sponsored the bridge bikeway with its eastside counterpart and is also developing the connected Branch Street Trestle bikeway on our side, have learned that the bridge’s new paint job won’t quite be finished by then.
When the McKinley Bridge bikeway and the Branch Street Trestle path are both finally ready, St. Louis will be — according to GRG executive director David Fisher — only the third city in the world to have converted an elevated railroad viaduct into a linear urban recreation area.
The other two? New York’s High Line and Paris’s Promenade Plantee. Good company.