Passing the Parkway Buck
On Christmas Eve, MayorSlay.com made the comment that "Without any real public notice, Metro (Bi-State) has postponed the promised 'end of the year' re-opening of the Forest Park Parkway. Many of us wonder what’s going on over there."
They have a good point - I can't figure out why there's been no Cross County news since September. Although they did open the stretch from DeBaliviere to Des Peres for neighborhood users - but only because they closed the Des Peres Avenue access to Lindell permanently.
However, Mayor Slay should also walk upstairs to Room 301 at City Hall and check with Marj Melton and her engineers at the Board of Public Service.
BPS is responsible for the reconstruction of Forest Park Parkway from Euclid to DeBaliviere. This stretch was not directly impacted by MetroLink construction, except for a new retaining wall related to additional trackage laid at the Forest Park station. BPS was wise to schedule this rebuilding of a 40+ year old roadway at the same time as the rest of the Parkway would be closed for MetroLink construction.
But, now, what would keep it from reopening separately? Is Metro using that section as a staging area for their work? If not, it seems like it could be reopened sooner than the section out west, and at least then the City of St. Louis could get some credit for having gotten something completed faster than Metro did. BPS could use an opportunity for good press, considering how long it took to complete projects like the Southwest Avenue bridge over River Des Peres.
Also, it would reinstate a useful, quick connection to the BJC complex, midtown and downtown from the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood. That section of expressway used to be several minutes faster trip than nearby Lindell.
Reopening the BPS-managed section of the Forest Park Parkway project soon would be a great opportunity for the Slay administration.