Thousands of walkers, runners, bicyclists and rollerbladers came out on Saturday morning to celebrate the opening of the Route 141 and Page-Olive Connector with traffic-free access to the road.
The day, 30-plus years in the making, started with a “Run to Get It Done” 10-kilometer run and walk at 7:30 a.m., followed by open access to approximately three miles of north and south Missouri Route 141 between Parkway Central High School to the south and Interstate 364 to the north.
“We’ve been watching it for years,” Kathleen Hall of Chesterfield said as she and her husband Steve Hall took a break from bicycling 141. “We couldn’t wait, couldn’t wait, couldn’t wait. We’re excited about it.”
There was also a grand opening ceremony plus ribbon cutting attended by various government and transportation officials.
“This is really important to the St. Louis metropolitan area and specifically St. Louis County,” said St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. “This is a game changer for the 21st century.”
Dooley added that the project has “been on the books since 1971” and is “definitely on time at the right time for St. Louis County.”
Mark and Tara Shaffer of St. Peters, cruising 141 with their children Hayden, 7, Charley, 3, and Katie, 1 ½, agreed.
“It’s awesome,” Tara Shaffer said.
“I can’t wait to drive it,” Mark Shaffer added. “It’s a good shortcut to my parents.”
Others were equally enthusiastic.
“We’ve been waiting for this because my parents live in St. Charles and we just moved to Chesterfield,” said Tiffany Duncan, out walking with her husband Chris Duncan, 11-month-old daughter Avery and Calvin, their toy poodle. “It’s going to be convenient for us.”
Margery Barnicle of Chesterfield, who stopped frequently to take pictures, said “This is great, this is fabulous. I take this route to work every day, and I’ve been looking forward to this opening up.”
She was thrilled to get a chance to ride the road on her two-wheeled transport without having to worry about cars.
“I’m a bike rider, so I came out to enjoy the day and socialize with people,” she said.
Did you take your own photos at Highway 141 opening? Share them here.