The trams carrying visitors to the top of the Arch closed Nov. 28 and will reopen in March after outdated machinery in the trams is replaced.
Visitors will not have to pay the $3 entry fee to the visitors center beneath the Arch during that time.
Construction on the Arch ground renovations began in September 2014 and is expected to be complete by late 2017.
A new recreation and event space at the north end of the Gateway Arch grounds opened Tuesday, completing another stage of the national park’s $380 million renovation.
The 7½-acre addition to the north entrance replaces an old parking deck and is accessible from Laclede’s Landing. It includes a natural amphitheater, shaded lawns, a bike and pedestrian path, and an interpretive garden featuring flora that would have been seen by the explorers Lewis and Clark on their famed journey west.
“We’re picturing this as a quiet, meditative space for our urban neighbors to enjoy daily,” National Park Service spokeswoman Rhonda Schier said.
The nearby Washington Avenue entrance to the park remains closed for construction access as work on the Museum of Westward Expansion continues into next year. The only other park entrance currently open is on the southwest side of the park near the Old Cathedral.
The northern part of the park is also now lined with London planetrees, which replace the ash trees that were pre-emptively removed due to the spread of the emerald ash borer beetle. The invasive species native to Asia has destroyed millions of ash trees around the country over the last decade.
The area also now features a raised walkway from First Street and the Eads Bridge leading to the north overlook platform. Some of the new lawn areas at the north entrance will remain closed until spring 2017 to allow plant root systems to grow, CityArchRiver spokesman Ryan McClure said.
CityArchRiver is a nonprofit created as a public-private partnership to manage the expansion and improvements to the Gateway Arch grounds.