After I wrote last week that my staff was talking to MoDOT about recovering parkland during the planned reconstruction of Highway 40, some of you have asked me more about that.
According to authors Caroline Loughlin and Catherine Anderson (Forest Park, published in 1968 by the University of Missouri Press), the construction and expansion of Highway 40 and the adjacent Oakland Expressway have taken 68 acres of the 1876 park footprint, including tennis courts, a bicycle track, a cottage, and several greenhouses.
The 1958 designs of the cloverleaf exits at Hampton and Kingshighway, in particular, took up a great deal of extra space. As those exits are reconfigured, I hope that the new designs will restore some of that green space to the park.
How much could that be? Our engineers and planners think that somewhere between 2 and 10 acres of parkland could be returned to us by MoDOT.
I’ll keep you informed.