The St. Louis region has many things to appreciate as it celebrates Thanksgiving.
One is Citygarden. The well-planned but slightly offbeat sculptures, plants, and fountains have transformed two downtown blocks into a fantastic gathering place. Kids dodging the water, couples strolling along with the electronic Bruce and Sarah, groups dining at the Terrace View, everyone engaging with the art ó it is an urban kaleidoscope.
Citygarden reflects the regionís rivers and bluffs and highlights its plants. It is open, inviting, and just plain fun. Downtown St. Louis has been coming back for more than a decade. Citygarden propels it forward.
Another is completing the Highway 40/Interstate 64 project. The regionís most vital artery was showing its age. It needed a complete do-over between Ballas Road on the west and Kingshighway Boulevard on the east. In between is a vastly improved interchange with Interstate 170.
The proposal to close major sections so that the work could be completed in two years rather than four or five seemed radical when it was unveiled. How would we cope? Would we survive? Could state government and its contractors bring it off?
The region coped well, survived unscathed, and the state government delivered ahead of schedule and on budget. Within two weeks, the traffic will be flowing smoothly.
So, sometime soon, take the rebuilt highway, visit Citygarden, and enjoy a more bountiful region.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Terry Jones is Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.