A twenty-million dollar grant will go towards giving the Arch grounds a face lift. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says the money from the federal Department of transportation is earmarked for construction on I-70. Supporters have long wanted to make the Arch more accessible.
The highway improvement is part of a 600-million dollar plan to renew the Arch grounds by the monument's 50th anniversary in 2015. The plan at various times has included a gondola that will cross the Mississippi River, along with a deck to cover a portion of Interstate 70 making it easier for people to visit the grounds. The gondola, to be suspended above the river, will connect the Arch grounds to Martin Memorial Park in East St. Louis. The so-called "lid" over I-70, will allow for easier passage between the Arch grounds and the Old Courthouse, which are both a part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. A second entrance to the Arch has also been planned, facing downtown St. Louis.