It could be a “once in a lifetime” chance: to create a new bicycle/pedestrian path over the Meramec River as part of a rebuilt Interstate 44 bridge complex. And the good news is the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), Great Rivers Greenway and surrounding municipalities have reached an agreement to fund the project.

The result will be a 12-foot-wide protected path for walking, running and biking across the river between Fenton, Sunset Hills and Kirkwood. The bridge would connect to the existing Meramec Greenway system on the west side of the river and link to Emmenegger Nature Park, Powder Valley Nature Center and Conservation Area, Possum Woods Conservation Area and nearby Laumeier Sculpture Park.

“Over the years, there has been a great deal of interest from the cycling community for a bridge that crosses the Meramec River. We are ecstatic that we are able to partner with Great Rivers Greenway and the municipalities on both sides of the Meramec River to make this a reality,” said Tom Blair, MoDOT district engineer for the St. Louis region.

“Bridging over a river is a rare opportunity in any region,” said Susan Trautman, CEO of Great Rivers Greenway. “This collaboration of partners demonstrates what can be done when people work together to improve our quality of life. Greenways create connections for people to get where they need to go, explore their communities and enjoy some fresh air.”

The project will begin construction this fall, with expected completion in 2022.