St. Louis' Design Challenge: final designs support removing I-70

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Behnisch Team Site Plan View

The five final designs were released last week for the Framing a Modern Masterpiece international design competition, sponsored by The City+The Arch+The River 2015. The mission of the design competition is to weave the Gateway Arch and grounds back into the fabric of the city and the region … rejuvenate connections … welcome and draw people for repeated visits … and re-energize the region for living, working and visiting.

City to River, a local volunteer group committed to improving connections between the communities of the central riverfront and the Mississippi River, noted that four of the five designs support the removal of Interstate 70 from the riverfront. It currently separates the city from the Arch grounds. In Most Arch design teams: Remove I-70 downtown, St. Louis Business Journal, the MVVA team is quoted saying “..the benefits of removing the highway altogether are clear....”

The Behnisch team states in their proposal:
We are interested in people driving into town, parking and walking. No longer will we allow high-speed through traffic imperiling people walking and their quality of life. Our plan sees Downtown as a destination, not a way-station....In the short term, we know that these types of projects are fraught with political peril. The driving public is understandably wary of change, especially anything that adds uncertainty to their commutes. Our team will produce predictive models so that we know we a) minimize disruptions, and b) minimize political heartburn. We know, however, that people are smart, adaptive, and respond to positive change positively.

Today, the five teams present their designs to the competition jury. Results will be announced September 24, 2010. Click here for more details about the schedule and the traveling exhibits.

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