Landscaping for the Arch grounds nearly completed

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - New progress is being made on the Arch grounds as part of the $380 million renovation project. The landscaping part of the project is close to completion on the grounds north and south of The Arch. The area underneath the iconic structure looks like a construction site. Keli Ray-Schoemo said "No, it's not pretty." It's a huge landscaping project that has taken more than six years. Ryan McClure is a spokesman for the group City Arch River which is in charge of the project. He said, "Really landscaping just the Arch grounds itself about 90 acres."

There use to be about 1,800 trees. Soon there will be more than 4,000 trees. Some are called London Plane trees. You will find them along the streets and avenues of cities like New York and Paris, France. McClure said they will be perfect for St. Louis, "They're disease resistant, hearty urban trees that will thrive and be successful on the Arch grounds."

The Arch celebrates the westward expansion and Lewis and Clark.  A special spot on the grounds for kids will tie youngsters to the famous explorers. McClure said, "Kids can play around see plant life that Lewis and Clark would have seen on their journey west."

When visitors hear about the changes, they will consider coming back for a second look. The new museum won't be finished until the end of 2017.