Quarry Pavilion Construction Begins

Work has begun at the Whitecliff Quarry area to construct a new pavilion, water treatment system, and various sidewalk and path upgrades. The total cost of this project is about $400,000, of which $239,000 will be funded by the St. Louis Municipal Park Grant Commission.

The boardwalk will be closed during construction, but the “fishing plaza” is still accessible via a temporary mulch pathway. A new protected mulch pathway allows pedestrians to safely walk past the construction area, as that the main gravel path is inside the jobsite area.

Improvements to the area include a 30x60 steel framed pavilion with stone column supports and a metal roof, placed upon a 36x66 concrete pad. Additional concrete pathways will connect the pavilion to the boardwalk and to the handicap and drop-off parking spaces. Electric will be brought to the site for lighting and outlets within the pavilion.

The quarry currently allows catch and release fishing, but I’m told that the water quality is somewhat lacking so a water treatment system will also be installed as part of this phase. This will improve the water quality with the goal of stocking the pond with additional fish species.

The completion deadline for the grant funding is June 1, so the city requested a 6-month extension from the grant commission. As was witnessed by other city projects, material and labor shortages have made completing work on schedule a significant challenge.

The next phase for improvements in this area will be to install a new pedestrian bridge over Mulberry Creek, connecting the park to Sheryl Ann / Lodgepole streets and hundreds of Ward 1 residents in that area. Today many of those residents walk through that creek and through the woods to access the park. This new bridge will greatly improve that accessibility and also provide a new walking/biking route for residents south of the park, to access the city’s commercial area.

At the May Board of Alderman meeting, a contract with an engineering firm to design the pedestrian bridge was tabled to allow staff to revise the scope to also include designing the pathways to connect the bridge to the other paved/gravel paths within the park. This mater will be reconsidered at the June or July meeting.