|Sent on behalf of BJH.
What began last December with the closing of a major roadway soon will be a distant memory as the project to construct a traditional four-way intersection at Forest Park Parkway and Kingshighway Boulevard nears completion. Opening day is scheduled for September 1, likely a mid-afternoon time determined by the City of St. Louis.
“This project, a partnership among BJC HealthCare, Washington University School of Medicine and the City of St. Louis, modernizes a major city artery while creating a beautiful new front door to the Central West End and medical center from the west,” says June Fowler, BJC senior vice president communications, marketing and public affairs.
The impetus for the project was the decades-old configuration of the two roadways, with Forest Park Parkway passing beneath Kingshighway and emerging near Euclid Avenue. While the design may have been the best solution at the time, it presented challenges for today’s drivers accessing the medical campus, the Central West End and Forest Park, as well as pedestrians attempting to cross Euclid Avenue or Kingshighway Boulevard at Forest Park Parkway.
“Our patients have adapted very well to the detours,” says Kelley Mullen, senior director of clinical operations for Washington University Physicians. “We are very pleased that this new intersection will be safer and provide easier access for our patients to the medical campus.”
The project enhances the accessibility, safety and appearance of the campus, including:
- Safer crosswalks with durable, high-visibility markings and median refuges with accessible pedestrian push-buttons
- Beautification, including new landscaped medians along Forest Park Avenue
- Improved access to Forest Park with the addition of turn lanes from Kingshighway to Forest Park Parkway
- Improved walking surfaces including ADA compliance
During the closure, Forest Park Parkway was backfilled under Kingshighway to bring it to the same level as Kingshighway. Further west, a bridge over the MetroLink tracks was demolished and rebuilt, the bulk of the work over the tracks taking place during the overnight hours when trains cease operation.
Landscaping and additional work on Kingshighway near Children’s Place will continue into September.