Say the name Bangert Island to people in St. Charles and nearby St. Louis counties and you’re likely to get a variety of responses. For some, the name means nothing. Others know the island as a place to hike and bike on and off the Katy Trail.
The city of St. Charles falls into the last group, though it quickly points out that Bangert Island is not actually being developed. Instead, the island will continue to operate as a park amenity for the new development.
The city has spent several years planning and organizing the project to transform the riverfront property south of Interstate 70, including Bangert Island, into a valuable asset not vulnerable to floods.
On June 19, Dan Mann, St. Charles’ assistant city engineer for development, reported that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic stress, the project is on track as planned.
When all phases are completed, Riverpointe
“Construction of the first phase of the Riverpointe development is underway,” Mann explained. “Over the winter, the city’s contractor demolished the buildings and cleared the site. If you drive by today, you will see trucks dumping fill material to raise the first six acres for development above the 500-year flood elevation.”
According to the project plan, the goal for Riverpoint is to create a water-quality basin at the outflow of Crystal Springs Creek and elevate over 100 acres of ground above the 500-year floodplain. In doing so, Bangert Island, which in recent years has been an island in name only, will be separated once more from the Missouri River bluff. Additionally, the measures are expected to prevent the catastrophic flooding experienced by the area in recent years.
The first six acres for development are located south of I-70, east of and adjacent to South Main Street
“While we had some rain this spring, the city’s contractors have remained on schedule and expect to have the first building pads to be filled by August,” Mann said.
He described the construction as moving quickly and said “interest from businesses looking to develop the site has been incredible.”
“The construction of this vital infrastructure will continue throughout 2020 and into 2021. We are currently planning a real estate marketing event later this summer to showcase the potential of this site. The easy access to the highway next door to Streets of St. Charles, Ameristar Casino Resort & Spa, Historic Main Street, the Katy Trail and Bangert Island Park make this development unparalleled in the St. Louis market.”
“The city is finalizing design elements for the remaining pieces of infrastructure, including the roads, retaining walls, trails
Mann said the Riverpointe project will create over 4,000 permanent jobs when complete and puts the construction industry to work immediately. He said the city has continued to receive excellent bids, and work has continued while following recommended pandemic safety practices. Similarly, the design of the infrastructure has continued unabated.
When the project was discussed with Missouri State Parks, they conveyed how important it was to avoid cars crossing the Katy Trail as they do today. For those reasons, Mann said, the city will reroute the trail around the east side of the development away from cars and above flooding levels, similar to the trail near the Family Arena.
Construction of infrastructure for the next phases of the development and boardwalk will start early next year.
“The city is excited about the continued growth and progress this development will bring to the region, and expect it to be a showcase of modern sustainable development,” Mann said.