The westbound part of the Boone Bridge complex, crossing the Missouri river between Chesterfield Valley and St. Charles county, is ancient. It’s well over 70 years old, has been restriped to put three lanes of traffic where two were supposed to run, and is scary bad to drive across.
Tonight, MoDOT had a meeting in St. Charles county to show some plans for the bridge. There’d been some rumors about keeping it as a footbridge and/or cycling bridge between St. Louis and St. Charles counties, and I got pretty excited about that. However, tonight, MoDOT revealed that that option is off the table. That means if you walk, hike or cycle through this part of the world — and there are a TON of cyclists through this area due to the Katy Trail — you only have two places to legally cross the river, as the Boone is now part of I-64.
One is just south of downtown St. Charles city, at milemarker 42.8, and is on the deck of the Page Avenue bridge as a separate bike lane. The next crossing to the south is 28 miles south on the Katy, crossing the very dangerous Hwy 47 bridge at Washington MO. This is such a dangerous crossing that a whole business has been built around folks carrying cyclists and their bikes across the bridge in vehicles, in order to keep things safe.
A pedestrian crossing at the Boone would give folks a way to cycle or hike from the Katy Trail (which crosses directly under the Boone) into the Chesterfield Valley, where a new loop around the Valley has been constructed. It would also be a valuable connector from St. Louis into St. Charles.
Chattanooga figured out a way to do that with the Walnut Street bridge, and it’s turned into a real boon for downtown renovation. Admittedly, the two ends of the Boone are either retail or light industrial, but think of the start this could be.