By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
The grounds surrounding St. Louis’ Gateway Arch will be completely transformed with the completion of the CityArchRiver project, providing an unforgettable experience for all who journey there.
With biking and running trails, outdoor event space and a newly renovated, expanded museum commemorating the country’s westward expansion, there will be something to enjoy for everyone.
Designed by world-renowned landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the completed project will connect the Arch grounds to both the city and the Mississippi River.
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. of St. Louis is serving as general contractor for the renovation and expansion of the Gateway Arch Visitor Center and the Museum of Westward Expansion, part of the overall CityArchRiver project.
Construction began in June 2015 on this “centerpiece” of the project; completion is anticipated by summer 2017 at an estimated construction cost of $96 million.
Andy Poirot, McCarthy’s onsite project director, said that all of the existing 100,000-plus square feet will be renovated and almost 50,000 square feet will be added. When finished, one immediately noticeable feature will be the large central aisle put in place to better accommodate pedestrian movement. Construction includes the addition of a new west entrance as well as renovations to the existing structure’s interior.
This is the third contract for McCarthy as a part of the overall $380 million Arch grounds renovation. Other work includes the north and south grounds site and landscaping projects. Poirot said 3,400 new trees will be planted, and five new miles of pedestrian pathways will lace throughout the grounds and surrounding areas.
Funding for the entire CityArchRiver project comes from both public and private funds. Of the $380 million total, public funding accounts for $159 million, with the remaining $221 million through private sources.