Construction of the first 1.5 miles of the planned 7-mile Maline Greenway in North St. Louis County is scheduled to begin the week of March 12 in Bellefontaine Neighbors. This phase of the new greenway will be built primarily within Bella Fontaine Park, in partnership with St. Louis County Parks Department. It will create a safe, seamless connection between both sides of the park, making it easier for people of all ages and abilities to connect to transit on Lewis and Clark Blvd.

The $2.6 million construction project includes new and refurbished, ADA accessible walking and biking paths and the replacement of three deteriorated bridges. A new underpass will also be constructed beneath Lewis and Clark Blvd. to link both sides of the park.

Additional improvements to the park include a new rain garden and the restoration of the Maline Creek stream bank to better manage storm water and prevent erosion. Construction has been coordinated with Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District to coincide with planned improvements to the waste and storm water infrastructure in the area. There will also be new landscaping, including more than 300 trees and shrubs along with new seating areas for people to relax and enjoy the fresh air.

“It’s exciting to break ground on a brand new greenway,” said Patrick Owens, Great Rivers Greenway project manager. “This first phase will not only enhance Bella Fontaine Park for all users, but also make it easier and safer for people to connect to transit.”

The master plan for the 7-mile Maline Greenway calls for an east-west link between the Mississippi Greenway (sometimes called the Riverfront Trail) and the St. Vincent Greenway in North St. Louis County. The greenway will pass though the cities of St. Louis, Berkeley, Kinloch, Ferguson, Jennings, Moline Acres, Bellefontaine Neighbors and Riverview, as well as through unincorporated St. Louis County. Approximately 70,000 people reside in this greenway corridor that will eventually connect more than 350 acres of park land.

As progress continues on the first phase of the Maline Greenway, Great Rivers Greenway will be seeking community feedback on the second phase of the project, which is expected to connect West Florissant Avenue and Ferguson’s Forestwood Park. Construction on the first phase is expected to last approximately 12 months.