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Danforth Foundation to fund Arch connector study

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – The St. Louis-based Danforth Foundation is sponsoring a competition to find the best plan to connect the Gateway Arch to the rest of downtown.

Mayor Francis Slay and other civic leaders want to cover the depressed section of Interstate 70 and also develop the city's riverfront.

Foundation chairman and former U-S Senator John Danforth said I-70 through downtown looks like a tank trap, and severs the Arch grounds from the city center.

"Three million people a year plus visit the Arch," Danforth said. "It's as though they're dropped down in parachutes and magically removed. There's no connection to the rest of our community."

The foundation is also paying for preliminary surveys and engineering work, though Danforth declined to say how much money it's putting up.

Danforth says he would like to have final construction documents ready in a year.