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Monday, August 10, 2009

This Could Be Interstate 70/Memorial Drive in Downtown St. Louis

A great post from the Infrastructurist lists the Top Seven Urban Freeways to Tear Down.

While none of St. Louis's many disruptive interstates made the list, this example from Syracuse looked strikingly like downtown St. Louis's Memorial Drive/I-70 couplet.

Before


After



The transformation of I-70 and Memorial Drive downtown, and I would argue especially the elevated portion that divides Laclede's Landing from the rest of downtown, could be one of the greatest reclamation of urban spaces from deadening big-project planning that the city has ever witnessed.

4 comments:

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Brian said...

I think our situation is just as bad as those on that blog. And not only do we have the depressed section/Memorial, we have the elevated portion of 64/40 as well. I'm not necessarily advocating tearing that down, but it would be so nice to see the complete removal of 70 through downtown, especially for Laclede's Landing and the North Riverfront/North Broadway areas

Matt Kastner said...

As much as I hate the elevated 40 section, at least the footprint of most of that is pretty small since it is double-decker for quite a bit.

The trouble with 70 is that the time to really make that change is during the final phases of the bridge project. It would be far cheaper to do it then, but since MO is so broke right now, I don't see the money coming in for that anytime soon. Maybe Danforth would pony up some dough.

Rick Bonasch said...

The only way for this to happen is for a substantial percentage of the community across the region to get on board. Who is going to lead that effort?

Some of us are working on the grass roots level, but a project of this scope needs high profile leadership. Lots of people view freeway removal as a political third rail.

There has not been one elected official speak in favor of this concept. Without such leadership, it will never happen.

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