Forest Park Parkway and Kingshighway Construction to Begin
The project to construct a traditional intersection at Forest Park Parkway and Kingshighway Boulevard and rebuild a bridge over the MetroLink tracks (just west of Kingshighway) will begin December 5. The work is anticipated to be completed in July 2017, despite a delay of several months.
The two segments of the project are:
- Creating a traditional intersection at Forest Park Parkway and Kingshighway. This will improve access and wayfinding, providing a more intuitive and safer route for patients, visitors and neighbors.
- Replacing the bridge on Forest Park Parkway over the MetroLink tracks, just west of Kingshighway.
The work should take about eight months and will be completed before the new BJH and SLCH bed towers open for patient care in August 2017.
Patient communications include mailers to patients with scheduled appointments from December 2016 to July 2017, postcards showing alternate routes to give out in clinics and assistance with travel directions in automated appointment reminder calls.
The city will install message boards to alert motorists to the upcoming closure and detours. Starting December 5, streets will be affected as follows:
- Kingshighway will remain open in both directions. There may be limited lane closures in the evening.
- Forest Park Parkway west of Kingshighway will close to Union.
- Forest Park Parkway east of Kingshighway will be limited to one lane in each direction to Euclid Avenue.
- Drivers on Kingshighway will be able to turn east on Forest Park.
- Westbound Forest Park drivers will be able to turn north or south on Kingshighway.
Employee alternatives to Kingshighway and Forest Park
Employees working at the medical center should take alternate routes and avoid Kingshighway and Forest Park Avenue altogether. It will take a few weeks for everyone to adjust, as with any road construction project.
Kingshighway is the front door for patients, their families and visitors. Patients frequently arrive under stressful circumstances. Employees can help ease their stress by taking alternate routes. Highway exit ramps and streets east of Kingshighway provide easy access to employee parking and typically will take less time.
If you commute I-64/40 and live west of the medical center:
- Exit at Tower Grove Avenue
- After work, take the ramp from Boyle onto westbound I-64/40
If you commute I-64/40 and live east of the medical center:
- Exit at Boyle
- After work, take Boyle to Papin St. onto eastbound I-64/40
Why the project is necessary
- The current configuration, with Forest Park Parkway running under Kingshighway, presents challenges for drivers accessing the medical center, the Central West End and Forest Park. Eastbound Forest Park Parkway drivers cannot turn onto northbound Kingshighway. Drivers on Kingshighway cannot access westbound Forest Park Parkway from either direction.
- Pedestrian safety also is a key concern at Kingshighway and at Euclid. The intersection at Euclid is especially dangerous with faster eastbound traffic emerging from beneath Kingshighway and mixing with slower eastbound vehicles.
- In August 2017, the new BJH and SLCH bed towers will open, substantially increasing the volume of patient care on the north end of the campus. The new intersection is aimed at improving access to the medical center and the Central West End.