Forsyth to close this summer during replacement of underpass to South 40

Other roads, parking areas also to close at times during construction

A map showing the closed area of Forsyth Boulevard and pedestrian and vehicular detours. For a larger version of the map, click here. (Credit: Courtesy map)

Forsyth Boulevard between Olympian Way and Wallace Drive will be closed to through traffic from Big Bend to Skinker from May 22 through August as Washington University in St. Louis partners with the city of Clayton to replace the Forsyth bridge.

Construction will officially begin on the project in late May following Commencement. Forsyth is anticipated to reopen in August, which is planned to coincide with the reopening of the underpass that connects the South 40 and the Danforth Campus to pedestrian traffic.

The Forsyth closure will begin immediately east of Olympian Way and extend to Wallace Drive, says Sarah Stanton, project coordinator in WUSTL Facilities.

WUSTL community members will be able to travel from the Danforth Campus to the South 40, the residential area of campus, using the crosswalk at Wallace, Stanton says. Posted signs will direct pedestrians and bikes to this route. During the Forsyth closure, the Danforth Campus will be accessible to vehicles via Wallace from the east and Olympian from the west, Stanton says.

The Forsyth underpass, which connects the South 40 with the rest of the Danforth Campus, will close in May as the bridge is replaced. (Credit: Joe Angeles)

Other roads and parking areas around the underpass also will close for brief periods because of construction. Portions of the Simon Hall parking lot also will be closed at times during construction.

Construction will alter St. Louis MetroBus Gold and Red Line routes and stops. The Gold Line will be most affected, with the line beginning/ending at the WUSTL Mallinckrodt Center rather than the Clayton MetroLink station. Maps of the rerouted Gold and Red Lines can be found here.

For more detailed information on Metro changes due to construction, visit the Metro Rider Alerts website. For help planning a MetroBus or MetroLink trip, use the “Plan Your Next Trip” tool at

The underpass, built in 1962, is considered safe but is nearing the end of its useful lifespan, Stanton says. The university installed steel beams in 2008 to reinforce the underpass, Stanton says, but at this point replacing the underpass is the best long-term option in terms of cost and safety.

Though the dimensions will be similar, the new underpass will feature several improvements, including a higher ceiling, better drainage and increased lighting.

Additionally, the northern section of the path, near Simon Hall, will be wider, which will improve visibility and safety for both pedestrians and bicylists.

When the underpass reopens this August, students again will be able to paint the follies. (Credit: Sid Hastings)

Once complete, the underpass — as well as the large shapes, or follies, which sit north of the underpass — will again be used by student groups and others to advertise upcoming events. Painting the underside of the structure long has been a student tradition.

As part of the project, the university also plans to extend the dual bicycle/pedestrian path from Wallace to the underpass.

The primary source of funds for the bridge replacement will come through the Missouri Department of Transportation. The university is providing additional funding for improvements to the underpass approaches, landscape and utility relocation.

Residents who live around the project site received notification from the City of Clayton May 1 and a map indicating alternative routes.

For additional information on the project, visit the project website at

To view a video on the project produced by the city of Clayton, visit