One of the most frequent complaints we've received over the years has been about the poor condition of Government and Wells Drives. These roads in the southwest corner of the Park are nearly as old as the Park itself and are heavily used by people visiting the Zoo, Art Museum and other Park destinations. They were also in bad shape — with plenty of potholes and not enough sidewalks and safe crossings, these roads didn't live up to the rest of the Forest Park experience.
Now, thanks to generous donors to the Forever campaign and the public-private partnership between Forest Park Forever and the City of St. Louis, these roads have been completely overhauled. After six months of construction, the roads reopened to traffic in mid-June (both on time and on budget!). Highlights of this successful Park improvement project include:
Completely rebuilt roads
Improved sidewalks, plus 2.2 miles of new sidewalks (ADA-accessible)
New safe pedestrian crossings (ADA-accessible)
Gathering places for visitor orientation and enjoyment
18 on-street rain gardens
New efficient LED lighting
153 newly planted trees
Net gain of 27 free on-street parking spaces
These rebuilt roads not only provide a safer driving experience, but a more enjoyable experience overall. It is our hope that these more welcoming roads will encourage Park visitors to enjoy the natural areas that they connect to as well, specifically the John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest.
To properly celebrate this successfully completed project, Forest Park Forever and our City of St. Louis partners hosted an opening ceremony on Thursday, August 17. A crowd of Park partner organizations and supporters gathered near the newly constructed roundabout connecting Government and Wells to hear a few brief remarks. Mayor Lyda Krewson, Forest Park Forever President & Executive Director Lesley Hoffarth and City Parks Director Greg Hayes addressed the crowd to share a bit about the work that went into this $6 million improvement.
A full press release about this exciting Forever campaign project can be found here.