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The St. Louis region enjoys access to four modes of transportation - air, rail, road, and water. The availability of so many options provides the community with easy travel around the region, along with some of the lowest shipping costs in the country. Several transportation initiatives are taking place throughout the region to improve traffic safety, ease congestion, and expand the way our communities think of transportation.
The reconstruction of I- 64, one of the region's main interstates, is a major $535 million project in St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis that began in 2007. The new I-64 project will replace aging bridges, improve flow, reduce noise, and improve safety through the upgrade of pavement, and construct a new interstate to interstate connection between 1-64 and I-170. Illinois and Missouri Departments of Transportation, community leadership, and elected officials are collaborating to build a new, 8-lane Mississippi River Bridge to reduce congestion and make it easier to travel between Missouri and Illinois. Once complete, the bridge is expected to meet capacity needs until 2025.
The Saint Louis Great Streets Initiative designed by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments creates lively and attractive streets around the region that will promote economic and social benefit while safely moving vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Each year, the East-West Gateway selects 3-4 streets from a pool of applicants to be redesigned by a team of planners, engineers, city managers, and elected officials to better connect residents with services, amenities, and each other. The East-West Gateway holds workshops for community leaders to learn how to apply the same design techniques to streets in their communities.
Much of Greater St. Louis' character and charm arises from its neighborhoods, which foster a connectedness among people that is rare today among large metropolitan areas. Whether the connection extends to their neighborhoods, parishes, or the whole community, St. Louis tends to develop strong ties to their surrounding areas. Many neighborhoods throughout the region have active neighborhood associations, including organized associations for each of the 79 neighborhoods within St. Louis City. The newest neighborhood to blossom in St. Louis City is downtown with urban living in the city center. Thousands of trendy lofts, condominiums, and apartments are available in beautifully restored historic buildings that once served as the center of industry and commerce in the city.
When the New I-64 project is complete, a total of 456,000 tons of concrete and asphalt will be recycled. Using recycled concrete as the base material for roadways reduces the pollution involved in transporting material to and from a quarry. Steel products such as rebar, guardrail, signs, and lights will be recycled and reused in the production of other metal goods. The interchanges will be improved to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion. In addition, on the nearby streets, the construction of three new roundabouts will eliminate signals which require electricity, will reduce emissions, and plant 3700 trees along the project.