A map of the corridor showing the route of the cycle track as well as where traffic signals will be added or replaced along with an new fiber optic cable linking the traffic lights

Project Description

The Tower Grove Connector is a 1.8-mile protected cycle track that will connect Tower Grove Park with Cortex. As part of the project, other funded improvements include:

  • Sidewalk & Crosswalk Improvements
  • Intersection Improvements
  • New Traffic Signals
  • Traffic Management Upgrades
  • Repaving of Tower Grove Avenue

The need for bicycle improvements in this corridor was identified through the Connecting St. Louis Plan, which was led by Trailnet and engaged thousands of residents. Completed in partnership with numerous civic and community partners, the Connecting St. Louis Plan is a bold vision to connect City of St. Louis neighborhoods, cultural districts, and job centers. Arch to Park and the Cortex Innovation Community then commissioned a follow-up study that determine the best corridor to connect Tower Grove Park and the Cortex District. This study established the vision for the bicycle improvements that includes the Tower Grove Connector project.

Phase 1

In 2020, Phase 1 was awarded a $5.59 million federal grant through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program. Design and engineering of Phase 1 of the project began in 2021.

In Phase 1, the cycle track will go along Tower Grove Avenue and Vandeventer Avenue between Tower Grove Park and Sarah Street. This vital connection is one of the busiest bike routes in the region and these improvements will create dedicated, protected space for bicyclists of all ages and abilities, help improve access to public transit and job centers, and reduce traffic congestion.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of the project plans to extend the protected cycle track north along Sarah Street from Vandeventer Avenue to the Brickline Greenway at the Cortex MetroLink Station. This will link the north-south corridor to the greenway running east-west, providing walkers and people on bikes access to job centers and cultural institutions throughout the City.

In 2022, Phase 2 was awarded a $3.42M federal grant through the CMAQ program. Design and engineering of Phase 2 began in 2023. At a public open house on May 22, 2024, the project team presented the 60% design plans.

Link to view open house presentation boardsLink to view the aerial map design plan (Very large image. Best viewed on a computer)Link to download the aerial map as a PDF (May work better for viewing on a mobile device)

Design Elements

The Tower Grove Connector will include the following major features. The community will have the opportunity to shape the final details of the design of Phase 2 beginning in 2024.

image of a person on a bike on a cycle track at the missississippi riverfront and gateway arch. Shows the cycle track elevated to the same height as the sidewalkAn example of a cycle track from another city. it shows a on-street cycle track with a short concrete barrier separating car traffic from people on bikesAnother example of a sidewalk-level cycle track with car parking on the street

Cycle Track

This project includes a 1.8 mile, two-way cycle track that creates dedicated space for people to bike that is physically separated from car traffic on the street and people walking on the sidewalk. This cycle track will be separated from car traffic by a concrete curb and buffer area as well as being raised up at sidewalk level. Cycle tracks provide important separated space for people of all ages and abilities to bike. The cycle track runs along Tower Grove Avenue, Vandeventer Avenue, and Sarah Street between Tower Grove park and Cortex. The project includes dedicated signals for bike traffic.

Examples of different cycle tracks are shown in the photographs above.

Improvements for Walking

Image of the current conditions at the intersection of Tower Grove Ave and DeTonty Street

The Tower Grove Connector includes sidewalk and crosswalk improvements. These safety improvements include:

  • Added pedestrian crossing signals with countdown timers
  • ADA improvements at crosswalks for people with disabilities
  • Raised mid-block crosswalks on Tower Grove Avenue
  • Raised cycle track and sidewalk crossings where driveways cross the project onto Vandeventer Avenue

Intersection Upgrades

The five-way intersection at Tower Grove Avenue, Vandeventer Avenue, and Central Industrial Drive will be simplified during the construction of this project. Central Industrial Drive will be diverted and a new traffic signal will be installed. This will make the intersection safer and more intuitive for all users.

Traffic Management

New signals will be installed at the following intersections:

  • Phase 1
  • Tower Grove Avenue & Shaw Avenue
  • Tower Grove Avenue & McRee Avenue
  • Tower Grove Avenue & Vandeventer Avenue
  • Vandeventer Avenue & Central Industrial Drive
  • Vandeventer Avenue & Sarah Street
  • Phase 2
  • Sarah & Papin Avenue
  • Sarah & Clayton Avenue

These new signals will be connected to the City’s communications network and linked to the City’s Traffic Management Center. This will allow the City to adjust the timing and observe traffic from a remote location, helping traffic flow more smoothly and reducing congestion.