Gateway Arch to become 'iconic national park'

Friday, December 10, 2010 | 4:10 p.m. CST

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the St. Louis region has an opportunity to "create one of the iconic national parks of America" with revitalization around the Gateway Arch.

Salazar was joined Friday by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri in a tour of the Arch and the area around it. A project has just begun to redesign the Arch grounds, the area near the Arch and even a park directly across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis, Ill.

The goal is to complete the project by October 2015. The design firm of Michael van Valkenburgh Associates of New York was chosen in September.

Salazar said he is confident a public-private partnership will provide enough money to fund the project, estimated at roughly $300 million.


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