I-44 Depressed lanes reopen Monday morning

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(KPLR) - A decade old dream is finally coming into focus in downtown St. Louis. Renovations to the Arch grounds took a major step forward over the weekend. Crews were back at work Monday morning at the depressed highway section. Over the weekend 40 huge girders were installed over it. The dream of connecting downtown to the arch grounds is now taking shape. Good news for people fundraising for the project. Ryan McClure is a spokesman for CityArchRiver 2015. McClure said, "We do hope that that drives people to get involved in the project and support it."

Tourists are excited about the changes. Abby Wolfe is visiting the Arch. She's from Indiana, "I think it will really improve the city and make it more beautiful."

Some tourists remember what it was like during past visits. Steve White is from Chicago, "Getting over to the arch from this side of the city you had to dodge quite a bit of traffic."

About $220 million of the $380 million total cost are being donated. It`s hoped all the improvements will cause tourists to stay longer in St. Louis.

Officials say the economic impact could be equal to an additional season of Cardinal baseball each year meaning hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs for the St. Louis economy.

Organizers want to put $29 million of the donated money into an endowment fund. The money would used to help the National Park Service. McClure added, "Help them maintain all the improvements that are being made we don`t` want the onus on them to maintain all these improvements."

Improvements that could greatly benefit the St. Louis area.