Forest Park Facelift for Roads Leading to St. Louis Zoo

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) Forest Park is revamping a section of roads leading to some of the city’s most popular attractions.

Crews are reconstructing Wells and Government Drives from Skinker Boulevard to the west edge of the St. Louis Zoo.

Forest Park Forever Senior Vice President of Operations Frank Kartmann said the roads need reconstruction.

“Our visitors overwhelmingly think that this is the most important project we could be doing right now in the park - is to improve [Wells and Government Drives],” he said. “Rough pavement - it’s difficult driving on. There’s very little in the way of sidewalks. So, people have to walk on the street or walk through the grass to get to where they want to go.”

The $5.7 million project is covered by donations to Forest Park Forever and a partnership with the St. Louis City Parks Department.

Road closures began in mid-December and should be completed by early summer, when visitor traffic is at its peak.

In addition to rebuilt roads, the new section will feature pedestrian crossings, new streetlights, 153 new trees, and 27 free parking on Wells Drive.

Kartmann said two miles of new sidewalk will also be included.

“Sidewalk that didn’t exist before, will be constructed here on these two streets. It is hard to believe but I think that goes to the earlier years of the park, when it was less developed,” he said.

The north and south parking lots will remain open during construction.

Visitors who plan to use the entrance at Wells Drive off Skinker Boulevard should instead enter Forest Park through Lagoon off Skinker, through Tamm Avenue or Hampton Avenue.