ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today toured the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, along with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Senator Claire McCaskill. Secretary Salazar, Secretary LaHood and Senator McCaskill reviewed the winning design concept to revitalize the park and met with stakeholders to discuss pending refinements and implementation of the plan.
“The winning design concept fulfills the dream of the Gateway Arch's original designer Eero Saarinen to create one great park on both banks of the Mississippi River,” Salazar said. “We will work hard with other federal agencies and partners to complete the design by 2015, the 50th anniversary of the Arch.”
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates of New York was the winner of the design competition for the renovation of the park.
The winning concept calls for a landscaped “lid” over the depressed lanes of Interstate 70 between the Gateway Arch grounds and downtown; an expanded underground museum and new entrance on Memorial Drive; improvements to the city owned riverfront levee; and expanded programming and amenities on the Gateway Arch grounds and in East St. Louis.
Salazar said that the project complements the goal of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to expand opportunities for Americans to enjoy outdoor recreation.
“We hope that the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will become a model of how urban parks can provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and invite more people to fully enjoy our nation's natural beauty, culture and history,” Salazar said.