Late Friday afternoon, William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, announced that the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, also known as the Gateway Arch and its grounds, has received a federal transportation grant. The grant will help fund engineering and planning for a pedestrian connector linking the Arch and downtown St. Louis.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which totals approximately $2 million, was, according to the announcement, "awarded under the Public Lands Highways Discretionary (PLHD) Program. The PLHD provides funding for transportation planning, research, and engineering and construction of, highways, roads, parkways, and transit facilities that are within, adjacent to, Federal public lands, including national parks, refuges, forests, recreation areas, and grasslands."
“We have been talking about building a lid to connect the Arch grounds to the rest of downtown for more than two decades," Clay said in a statement. "This $2 million grant will fund the first step in that long-anticipated project. It will also give the entire Arch grounds redevelopment project a big boost."
The Gateway Arch and its grounds are currently undergoing a massive redevelopment process targeted to be completed in 2015.