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February 18, 2011 | 14 Comments

Grand Bridge Construction – What’s in Store for Metro Transit Riders

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Grand MetroLink Station, as seen from the current bridge.

Current Grand MetroLink Station.

The City of St. Louis is replacing the Grand Bridge.  Although the City has not yet set the official start date, at last report they were looking at mid-March. Regardless of when the bridge is torn down, we do know the project will take 18-24 months.  Here’s how the construction project may affect your commute:

MetroLink

During select weekends especially at the beginning of the project, there will be no MetroLink service between the Central West End and the Union Station MetroLink Stations. During this time buses will transport customers in a bus bridge. Metro will alert customers in advance of these events.

For the first 2-3 weeks of the Bridge demolition, customers who normally use the Grand MetroLink Station will need to board and deboard at the Union Station MetroLink Station to connect with the #70 Grand bus to access areas surrounding the Grand MetroLink Station.

MetroBus

The #70 Grand will be rerouted to the Union Station MetroLink Station during the temporary closures of the Grand MetroLink Station. Customers will need to use the #70 Grand bus to reach destinations surrounding the Grand MetroLink Station.

For the entire 18-24 month construction period, customers traveling on the #70 Grand, #58X Twin Oaks Express and #410 Eureka Express may need to make changes to their commute.

New Grand Avenue and Scott Avenue Transit Plaza

The new Grand Bridge will feature wider, ADA-compliant sidewalks, bus pullouts, and spacious wind and rain shelters for transit riders. The Grand MetroLink Station will also undergo a susbstantial redesign that will transform the station into the Scott Avenue Transit Plaza with seating, a vending area, attractive fencing, improved lighting and a 58-space park-ride lot.

For complete details on the project, visit the Grand Avenue Bridge project page. Nextstop will continue to highlight upcoming dates and service changes.

St. Louis Metro Transit Grand Bridge Project Brochure March 2011

Download the pdf version of this brochure.

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Categories:
Capital Projects, Metro Lifestyle

14 thoughts on “Grand Bridge Construction – What’s in Store for Metro Transit Riders”

  1. Jeff says:

    I would have preferred that Metro create a Metrolink shuttle that people from Grand would transfer to. It could be a really quick shuttle, running as often as the Grand, but would preserve the through traffic that many people use the Grand Bus for. A good number of people going north on the bus every day go past Metrolink and get off at points such as Grand and Lindell and North.

  2. Paul Hohmann says:

    During construction of the new bridge will there be a pedestrian path available from the Metrolink station to Grand north of the bridge construction so people can walk to/from SLU, Grand Center, etc.?

  3. RTBones says:

    Please forgive my cynicism, but as I live in Missouri, I will say, “Show me.” This bridge plan sounds as short-sighted as the rebuild of 40.

    Let’s see: they are taking a busy 6 lane bridge and making it 4 lanes, with “bus turnouts” and “a decorative planter” in the center. I know buses routinely block traffic, but why not widen the bridge to keep the 6 lanes and your turnouts? I understand the widening of sidewalks, per ADA regulations. Naturally, there will be no provisions for ever putting the streetcar back.

    As to the Metro station itself…I can only hope it gets lit up like a Christmas tree. It is not the safest or most pleasant of stations during the day, let alone at night. My big question, though, is why a park and ride lot? That is what really doesn’t make sense to me. Does Metro actually expect it to get used? Does Metro have feedback from customers indicating they want a park and ride lot at Grand station?

  4. RTBones says:

    Again, no edit button, so you get two, Courtney. 🙂

    I realize I am slightly biased against park and ride lots – many reasons for feeling that way, this isnt the post to go into them – but I think my real problem with the park and ride lot is that I don’t understand who you are targeting this lot to be used by. Grand Avenue isn’t suburbia. This isn’t like there are workers parking at North Hanley to get into the city – you are ALREADY IN the city at Grand. The area is not known to be the safest, which means people area already disinclined to park there because of crime or perceived crime. If you have folks driving in from Illinois to get to Shrewsbury/Clayton, it isn’t likely they are going to stop at Grand to catch the train. I don’t see people driving down from the north or up from the south just to park at Grand – again, if they are going to the city, they will have driven already.

    I am just curious as to what Metro’s thinking was with the park and ride lot.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I don’t know specifically how the decision was reached to add the park/ride lot, but I can investigate if you’d like to know.

    Just based on my own observations at the station, however, there’s definitely a need. The on-street parking there is completely full on any given day that I’ve observed, and people park all the way around and up on Theresa Avenue as well. I think the lot will be heavily utilized.

    I live in the city, but I’d consider parking at Grand and taking Metrolink downtown on days when I was planning on going out after work – the express bus stops running fairly early and my other bus options are much less attractive, but it would be easy to get back to the Grand Station to get my car late at night. Or, if I had an early meeting in the County or in that part of the city, but didn’t want to go all the way downtown to get a pool car first; I’d head to my meeting and then park at Grand to MetroLink in to work, so I wouldn’t have to pay to park downtown.

  6. RTBones says:

    I can understand not having/wanting to pay to park in the city. I just dont know that I would be willing to leave my car down there late at night.

    Its a curiosity more than anything. If you find info on Metro’s thinking here – I’d love to know what caused them to make the decision.

    As always, thanks so much, Jennifer!

  7. Paul says:

    Total Anecdotal Response. I am a Metro employee, but this is not an official response.

    In the evenings I take MetroLink to Grand to catch the express bus. Over time I have noticed a couple of things. First, there are a quite a few of cars parked on Scott Ave. Second, which I have just noticed this winter, some of those people who get off the train at the same time I do are then walking down the long row of cars to get into their vehicle. It is clear that some people are already using Scott Ave as a makeshift Park n Ride lot. How many and why? Good questions. But from my observations people have already begun doing this.

    Similar behavior occurs at other stations where this is not a formal Park N Ride lot. People figure out the best place to get to the train and park for free. Another example: Sunnen Station. While it is our smallest station in terms of ridership, there are around ten or so people who park on the residential streets in order to catch the train there. Why don’t they simply scoot up Brentwood to park at a more secure facility? (Shrugs)

    I would be curious to hear from other readers who have observed other “unofficial Park n Ride” use.

  8. RTBones says:

    @Paul – I don’t know, but I suspect that people park on the street near Sunnen for three reasons: 1) its close to wherever home might be and therefore familiar (presumably somewhere in or near Webster) , 2) its free and familiar. Yes, I know the garage at Brentwood is free, but most others in the metro area are not. 3) Traffic around the Brentwood garage sucks swamp spit. If I can park in a neighborhood, be safe, and be home in 5 minutes, thats much better than parking in a garage, being safe, and being home in 15-20. Again, time is money.

    I must admit a bit of surprise to hear of people using the Grand station in a “park-and-ride-like” manner.

  9. stlplanr says:

    I wish Metro would have added a new Sarah (or even Vandeventer) station before re-construction of the Grand Viaduct would start. Did the recent Vandeventer bridge re-placement even leave space for a new station?

    If a Sarah or Vandeveneter station already existed, then the re-routing of the Grand bus wouldn’t need to go down slow Scott Avenue to reach the Grand station. Plus, an added MetroLink station is something that will continue to be needed, even after all the improvements over and beneath Grand are completed.

  10. Erik says:

    Having lived at SLU for 2 years, I must say that this is a welcome change to the Grand station. I probably would have been a metro rider much earlier if I had felt safer using that station. As it is, it took me moving away from that area to get me to appreciate metro. Stories of muggings, urine-soaked stairwells, and just the general poor lighting in the area freaked me out.

    All these improvements sound fantastic. I just hope that something can be done about the security down there.

    What’s that old saying about putting lipstick on a pig?

  11. Phil says:

    Paul is right about unofficial Park and Ride at Grand. I think Metro made the right decision in this case. The design of the new station will be generally safer, but in any case, any lot that’s visible from the train platform or even from train windows is going to be relatively safe. Even at off-peak times, with trains going both directions, you’re going to have a big audience every 5 minutes. The presence of security staff is also a deterrent.

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