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Grand Bridge and
Scott Avenue Transit Plaza Reopen with Official Celebration
City of St. Louis and Metro Transit Celebrated the Grand Bridge and Scott Avenue Transit Plaza Opening (L - R) Metro Transit President and CEO John Nations, Grand Center President and CEO Vince Schoemehl, Harris-Stowe President Dr. Albert Walker, Saint Louis University President Father Lawrence Biondi S.J., Mayor Francis Slay Alderwoman Marlene Davis, the City's Board of Public Service President Rich Bradley, and patients from Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), August 25, 2012 - "Today, we celebrate the reconnection of north and south Grand," said Mayor Francis G. Slay. "This was a major infrastructure project designed to better connect our City's north and south sides for drivers, pedestrians, and those who use public transportation."
"This bridge has the capacity for increased traffic and will be more comfortable and attractive for all its users. I thank the many businesses, universities, and hospitals along Grand for their cooperation during the construction period," stated the Mayor.
Mayor Francis Slay gathered with Metro Transit President and CEO John Nations, Alderwoman Marlene Davis, Saint Louis University President Father Lawrence Biondi S.J., Grand Center President and CEO Vince Schoemehl, Harris-Stowe President Dr. Albert Walker, and the City's Board of Public Service President Rich Bradley to celebrate the culmination of a $22 million Grand viaduct reconstruction project and $7 million Metro Scott Avenue Transit Plaza construction project.
The bridge to replace the Grand Avenue Viaduct was designed by HDR, Inc. and was constructed by Kozeny-Wagner, Inc. The new bridge is 16 feet wider than the previous bridge and features two lanes in each direction, wider multi-use shoulders, and 13 foot wide sidewalks in each direction.
The northbound and southbound lanes are separated by a raised and irrigated nine foot wide center median. The new bridge also features 150 foot long, 10 foot wide turnouts for Metro buses to safely board passengers above the new Scott Avenue Transit Plaza and Grand MetroLink Station. The Grand Viaduct Reconstruction Project was an 80% federally grant funded project with a 20% local match.
The MetroBus areas on the Grand Bridge feature new seating in large wind and rain bus shelters, better lighting, and new elevators and stairs connecting the bridge to the Grand MetroLink Station, new Scott Avenue Transit Plaza, and a new 58-space free Park-Ride lot.
The design contractor, Horner & Shifrin, Incorporated, worked closely with Barbara Grygutis in designing the new plaza which features a sculpture by Grygutis. Metro's contractor, Ben Hur Construction Company took the project from design to reality. Eighty percent of the Metro station upgrades were federally funded.
"Metro's buses travel over more than 500 square miles, and the bridge on Grand is one of our most heavily traveled. The Grand MetroBus route is the busiest route on our entire system with customers taking about three million trips a year on Grand Boulevard," said John M. Nations, Metro President & CEO. "Together, the City of St. Louis and Metro Transit have made a significant contribution to the city's infrastructure by improvements to both the bridge and the transit plaza on Scott Avenue below."
The City and Metro worked closely with Saint Louis University during the 17-month period the bridge was closed to traffic. The new bridge will provide a more comfortable and attractive link between Saint Louis University's undergraduate and medical school campuses. Saint Louis University has been an integral partner in this project, and has even agreed to maintain the bridge's planted median."
"The new Grand Boulevard Bridge and Grand MetroLink Station will have tremendous benefits, not only for Saint Louis University, but also for our city and our region," said University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J. "On behalf of our 14,000 students, 9,000 employees and 50,000 local alumni, I congratulate everyone involved in bringing these critical projects to life."
The new Grand Bridge, Grand MetroLink Station, Grand Bridge MetroBus stops, and the Metro Scott Avenue Transit Plaza will also provide a critical link to cultural institutions like the Fox Theater, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the Contemporary Art Museum in Grand Center, as well as Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Saint Louis University Hospital, and many other businesses and organizations.
Gov. Nixon Presents Flag of Freedom Award to Troy Business
TROY, MO, (SLFP.com), August 25, 2012 - A business in Troy that has hired 11 military veterans since 2010 under the Show-Me Heroes program has received the Flag of Freedom award from Gov. Jay Nixon. The Governor presented the designation to Witte Brothers Exchange Inc. at a ceremony at the business.
"Witte Brothers Exchange is honoring the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed services by making it a priority to hire these veterans when they return home," Gov. Nixon said. "I appreciate efforts by companies like this to hire our veterans, and I encourage more Missouri employers to join the ranks of those who have hired a veteran through the Show-Me Heroes program."
The Show-Me Heroes program, established by Gov. Nixon in January 2010, is designed to connect military veterans with job opportunities when they return home from service. Administered by the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, Show-Me Heroes showcases Missouri businesses that are willing and eager to hire veterans. Employers participating in the Show-Me Heroes program sign a pledge to ramp up efforts to reach out to, recruit and interview veterans for job openings at their business.
So far, 2,277 Missouri businesses have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge and 1,778 veterans have been hired. Those businesses like Witte Brothers Exchange that have hired veterans receive the Flag of Freedom award, which consists of a plaque featuring an American flag patch from the combat uniform of a member of the Missouri National Guard worn while that Citizen-Soldier or Airman was deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Last month, Gov. Nixon signed HB 1680 to further strengthen the Show-Me Heroes program. HB 1680 adds an on-the-job (OJT) training component for returning National Guard and Reservists and recently-separated active duty service members that Show-Me Heroes employers agree to hire.
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