Trails continue expansion

Trails continue expansion

Great Rivers Greenway pedestrian bridges near completion as part of a trail to connect St. Peters and St. Charles with St. Louis County

By Brett Auten

A project geared to provide more direct and safer access for cyclists and pedestrians is chugging right along. 

Work began in mid-March on a mile long pedestrian and bicycle trail that will include separate bridges across Highways 364 and 94, also known as the Page Avenue extension.

The project is part of the regional Great Rivers Greenway district and once completed will allow for access for walkers and bicyclists northwest of the two busy highways to an existing trail segment on the other side.

According to Seth Treptow, Communications Manager of Great Rivers Greenway, the bridges will be functioning soon.

“We’re still doing some landscaping,” Treptow said. “We expect it to open by the end of the year.”

The new trail extension will end at Old Highway 94. From there, people will be able to use city streets to bike to Schaefer and Wapelhorst parks in St. Charles and Laurel Park in St. Peters. Plans are afoot for a new trail along part of the route to the St. Peters park.

The mission for Great Rivers Greenway is to connect the St. Louis region with greenways so people can explore their rivers, parks, and communities, to make it a vibrant place to live, work, and play. Other greenway segments slated for design and engineering in the next two years include a connection between Olive Boulevard and Creve Coeur Park and Olive Boulevard and the Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur.

“We’re just excited to provide a safe connection that will allow more lives to be enjoyed outside,” Treptow said. “There are so many benefits, including that this is access you couldn’t have before.”

The Centennial extension segment is costing about $5 million.

In addition to the bridges, the trail extension includes a path between the two spans, a rest area, and landscaping native to the vicinity. The price tag also covers constructing retaining walls, grading and building up abutments.

Centennial Greenway: Katy Trail to Heritage Museum is a 2.3-mile paved trail that provides a link between the Katy Trail and St. Charles Heritage Museum Park to the west. It also connects to St. Louis County’s 4.5-mile paved Creve Coeur Connector trail extending from Creve Coeur Park that features a separated lane on the Page Avenue Extension Bridge for people walking or riding bikes to cross over the Missouri River between St. Louis County and St. Charles County. You can walk, run or ride all the way from Heritage Park to Creve Coeur Park or take the Katy Trail to explore historic Main Street in St. Charles and Frontier Park.

The master plan for the Centennial Greenway is a 17-mile corridor that stretches between Forest Park in the city of St. Louis and St. Charles County. The greenway will connect the communities of University City, Olivette, Ladue, Clayton, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights and St. Peters in St. Charles County. A portion of this greenway follows the same route of the 1904 Olympic marathon held in St. Louis as part of the World’s Fair.

“There are still lots of pieces that still need to fall into place,” Treptow said. “It comes down to finding the right corridors to work with and that they meet requirements and that the access is right.”

CUTLINES: Photos by Ray Rockwell The mile-long pedestrian and bicycle trail that will include separate bridges across Highways 364 and 94, also known as the Page Avenue extension, is part of the regional Great Rivers Greenway district. Landscaping work is ongoing and the trail should be completed by the end of the year.