ST. LOUIS– Cleveland, Ohio is taking notice of the revamped Gateway Arch Park and says its rebuild could serve as a guide to reconnecting its downtown and waterfront.
A pedestrian bridge over I-44 was a big part of the 3-year renovation project. The work began in 2013 and the goal was to better connect the city to the riverfront. A new museum and visitor center were part of the rebuild.
Cleveland.com featured the project in a weekend article. The paper says the owners of the Cleveland Browns, the city’s NFL team, have proposed extending its downtown Mall to better connect it to the city’s lakefront.
The Mall is a park space in the heart of Cleveland’s civic and government district. The paper reports extending the mall north over the railroad tracks would improve access to the lakefront attractions like the Browns’ stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The article says with the completion of the $380 million renovations in St. Louis, the city has surpassed Cleveland in connecting its downtown to its waterfront.
The Ohio Department of Transportation thought of St. Louis immediately when he reviewed the Cleveland proposal. He even urged Cleveland officials to visit Gateway Arch National Park, telling them: “Your vision is grander,’’ and that it would “one-up” the project in St. Louis.
The paper also points out St. Louis and Cleveland have both attempted to revive their downtowns through sports, entertainment, and tourism, including waterfront attractions.
St. Louis officials told Cleveland.com it is too soon to gauge the economic impact of their big project, in part because of the pandemic.
The paper says the St. Louis officials say the park renovation is part of an $8 billion in new investments in the region. Some of those investments include the Geospatial-Intelligence Agency West Headquarters being build in north St. Louis, the Cortex innovation district, and the Brickline Greenway, a Great Rivers Greenway project aimed at linking downtown to Forest Park.