No matter how far or wide, every journey begins with a single step. After working with many partners for many years, Great Rivers Greenways is about to take an all-important first step towards a project that will eventually connect the Gateway Arch and Forest Park: the Chouteau Greenway.

Construction of the first segment of the long-awaited Chouteau Greenway will begin in early 2017. Part of the Boyle MetroLink Light Rail Station project in Cortex, the quarter-mile section will be built between Boyle and Sarah Avenues.

“We are excited to see Chouteau Greenway start come to life,” said Mark Vogl, Great Rivers Greenway project manager. “The first segment is designed so that visitors, students and employees can walk or ride bikes to connect with the Cortex Innovation Community, as well as the rest of the destinations along the greenway’s path as it expands in the future.”

When the entire greenway is complete, you’ll be able to walk or ride a bike all the way from the riverfront to Forest Park — completely separate from vehicular traffic. The 5-mile, paved path will not only serve as a recreational space, but also a way to commute between downtown St. Louis, St. Louis University, Cortex Innovation Community, Washington University Medical Center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the proposed City Foundry St. Louis, seven Metrolink Stations and everything else along the way.

Chouteau Greenway

Henry “Hank” Webber, executive vice chancellor for administration at Washington University, chairman of the Cortex Innovation Community and member of the Urban Planning Roundtable guiding the project, is eager to see Chouteau Greenway begin to connect the central corridor.

“As the Chouteau Greenway expands, it will link together many of our region’s anchoring institutions,” said Webber. “Offering this type of alternative connection is essential for attracting and retaining the best researchers and brightest minds to our universities, medical centers and innovation districts like Cortex.”

As development within the central corridor gains momentum, so do the plans for further expansion of the Chouteau Greenway’s master plan.

“Building a separated space for walking or riding a bike directly through the heart of St. Louis requires a lot of coordination and planning,” said Susan Trautman, Great Rivers Greenway executive director. “We’ve been working in partnership with regional institutions, developers and public agencies for many years to make it a reality. It’s wonderful to see them embrace the greenway, recognize its value and be eager to connect to it.”

As construction of the first segment begins, partners are actively collaborating to finalize the route for the next section of greenway to be constructed as it heads west from Boyle Avenue to Forest Park.

“Having transportation options is an international standard,” said Dennis Lower, president and CEO of the Cortex Innovation Community. “The greenway will not only help attract a vibrant workforce, it will also create a new recreational space that will improve livability in the heart of St. Louis.”

View maps and the Chouteau Greenway Master Plan here.