ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There’s a chance that last week’s flooding may cause a delay in the ongoing Arch Grounds project.
CityArchRiver spokesman Ryan McClure tells KMOX News that the extent of damage is not yet clear.
“Obviously there’s been historic flooding in St. Louis,” he says. “One of the top three crests ever experienced here on the central riverfront. It will have an impact, but we don’t know what that is yet.”
This year will see more progress on the Arch Grounds project, and in fact, large sections of it will be done before the year is out.
McClure says the next major section will focus on Kiener Plaza starting next month.
“A couple of big highlights that you’ll see include a new open courthouse lawn that can fit almost 2,000 people for concerts, festivals and movies,” he explains. “The sunken amphitheater there will be brought to grade, and the old courthouse lawn is kind of replacing that as a gathering space.”
To the east of Kiener on the other side of the Old Courthouse, Luther Ely Smith park was recently opened to the public.
McClure says on the Arch Grounds there’s a lot of heavy construction work underway.
“The museum is under construction right now,” he says. “They are working on the 46,000-square-foot addition to the visitor’s center and museum, and also renovations of the existing facility.”
The new high-tech, user-friendly museum will open sometime in mid-2017.
McClure reminds everyone that visitor experiences inside the Gateway Arch facility, including entrance doors, Journey to the Top tram rides, Monument to the Dream movie showings, and access to the Arch Museum Store and Levee Mercantile, have been temporarily suspended through sometime in March. That’s when a renovated Arch Museum Store and a new digital projection system will debut.
During this time, the Old Courthouse is hosting a variety of free activities, such as viewings of the Monument to the Dream documentary and ranger-led walks to the Arch.
McClure insists that visitors can still walk up to “see, touch, and hug” and take photos of the Arch throughout the entire period.
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