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Officials seek new funding for 64, Jefferson exchange

A view of the Jefferson Avenue exchange at Highway 40 (Interstate 64) shows access to westbound lanes and access from eastbound lanes on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. But the exchange lacks entrance or exit ramps to or from the east. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — A $48 million plan to revamp highway ramps and streets around Highway 40 (Interstate 64) at Jefferson Avenue is moving through the Board of Aldermen.

The measure, endorsed Tuesday by an aldermanic committee, is designed to improve access to the planned National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters to be built northwest of downtown.

The federal government is paying for much of the road project, with the state and city also kicking in some dollars.

Among other things, the project will add ramps from westbound 40/64 to 22nd Street and Jefferson, redo ramps from the eastbound side of the highway, add a driving lane on Jefferson and reconnect part of the city street grid by extending Clark Avenue and 22nd.

A separated 10-foot-wide bike path will be established between Chouteau Avenue and Market Street. Some of the path will be along Jefferson and other streets.

Another segment, which would not be along a street, will connect from the east end of Scott Avenue to the corner of Clark and 21st Street.

City officials said the plan also will free up for development about 30 acres now taken up by old highway ramps. That site has been proposed for a new soccer stadium should St. Louis be awarded a pro soccer franchise.

The bill endorsed Tuesday assigns the city Board of Public Service to oversee about $17.5 million of the work. The Missouri Department of Transportation is committed to overseeing the remainder, local officials say.

Meanwhile, city officials are developing plans for additional improvements for streets between Market and the NGA site and further north to Natural Bridge Avenue.

The city’s development arm, the St. Louis Development Corp., will hold an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. July 9 at Gateway Elementary School, 1200 North Jefferson, to spotlight project details.

Plans call for new traffic signals, crosswalks, street resurfacing, traffic slowdown features, bike access and street corridor beautification.

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