Centennial Greenway trail near WUSTL’s Danforth Campus nearly complete

Dedication for Melville/Delmar trail section, Chuck Berry statue July 29

A two-mile section of the Centennial Greenway, a planned 20-mile trail that crosses WUSTL’s Danforth Campus, is nearly complete. A dedication for the Melville/Delmar stretch of the greenway is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday, July 29, at the newly created pedestrian plaza just east of Fitz’s American Grill & Bottling Works at 6605 Delmar Blvd.

Henry S. Webber, WUSTL’s executive vice chancellor for administration, will speak at the event, which also will include the dedication of a statue of Chuck Berry, a St. Louis musician considered a pioneer of Rock ‘n’ Roll music.

Centennial Greenway map

A map of the Centennial Greenway route near the Danforth Campus. For a larger view, click here.

When complete, the Centennial Greenway will run from Forest Park through the Danforth Campus and University City, Mo., to Creve Coeur County Park in St. Louis County and into St. Charles County.

The Centennial Greenway is part of the Great Rivers Greenway (GRG) District’s River Ring, an interconnected system of greenways, parks and trails that, when completed, will encircle the St. Louis region.

This summer, the university is constructing the section of trail that crosses the Danforth Campus and completing a segment along Forsyth Boulevard (from Hoyt Drive to Wallace Drive). Both sections are scheduled to be complete by late August.

The stretch of trail that crosses campus — approximately 20 feet wide and with dedicated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists — begins at Forsyth, just west of Goldfarb Hall, passes Olin Library, and ends at the approach to the Forest Park Parkway overpass. The trail will include a dismount zone at the overpass for safety reasons, as the trail narrows at the bridge. Dismount zones also will be implemented on the central part of the Danforth Campus over time to increase both pedestrian and bicycle safety.

The trail through campus will connect the already-completed trail along Forsyth (from Skinker Boulevard to Hoyt) to the Greenway Walk, which runs north of campus from the Forest Park Parkway overpass into University City.

Olin Library
The trail through the Danforth Campus will pass Olin Library, shown before construction began.

Both GRG and WUSTL have funded the construction of various segments of the Centennial Greenway.

“The Centennial Greenway will serve as a valuable link between Washington University and its surrounding communities,” Webber says. “Not only does the greenway provide active recreation opportunities, but it also creates greater access for sustainable transportation to and from the university.”

“GRG is delighted to partner with Washington University,” says Susan Trautman, GRG’s executive director. “Working with Washington University exemplifies collaborative efforts on the part of all the Greenway partners making the cities, university and the St. Louis region stronger.”

Construction of the Melville/Delmar section of the trail began October 2010 and was completed in July. This 10-feet-wide off-street section of the trail connects to the existing Greenway Walk and proceeds north along the west side of Melville Avenue and across Delmar Boulevard. It then connects to the existing Ackert Walkway, offering dedicated pedestrian and bicyclist access to Vernon Avenue.

Washington University provided right-of-way for two blocks of this improvement and will assist University City in maintaining and patrolling this section of the trail.

Last summer, construction was completed on a section of the trail along Forsyth on the southeast side of the Danforth Campus from Skinker to Hoyt.

For both the Skinker-to-Hoyt and Hoyt-to-Wallace segments, WUSTL provided the majority of land for this segment of the trail in conjunction with right-of-way provided by St. Louis and Clayton. The university will maintain the finished trail. This section of trail is approximately 17 feet wide and provides dedicated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists.

About the Great Rivers Greenway District

The Great Rivers Greenway District works for a clean, green, connected St. Louis region. To achieve this mission, the Great Rivers Greenway is developing the River Ring, linking together parks, residential areas, nature reserves, commercial areas, civic amenities, cultural institutions and historic sites. Plans are for the River Ring to include a 600-mile web of more than 45 greenways that crisscross the St. Louis region.

The Great Rivers Greenway was established in November 2000 by the successful passage of the Clean Water, Safe Parks and Community Trails Initiative (Proposition C) in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County.

For more information about the Great Rivers Greenway, visit grgstl.org.