It seems like the “powers that be” in Jefferson City are at least playing lip-service in the effort to help revitalize St. Louis City. With their help the long discussed, sometimes pipe-dream of a project, known as the Chouteau Greenway (or Chouteau Lake District), might just be back on the table. Apparently, Governor Jay Nixon has sent an official letter to the National Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, seeking assistance with the project. Unfortunately, as great as that might sound, even if money would find its way here, this is a huge project that would take years and cost a lot of money.
Be that as it may, if any project in St. Louis is worth this kind of investment, it is this one. Current plans would replace the industrial wasteland of railroad tracks just south of Highway 40 (I-64) with a beautiful lake (which was a naturally occurring body of water before it was drained in the 1850’s), create a new business park on the southern border of Downtown, as well as connect the Mississippi Riverfront with the rest of the park system. In short, it would truely transform St. Louis as we know it.
There is a long battle ahead if this project is to ever happen, but getting State support is an essential componanant. If Governor Nixon can convince Washington to lend a hand in moving the current railroad systems, it might actually be possible to make this happen some day. Here’s to hoping.