SANTA MONICA—The Gateway Master Plan, a proposal to put a cap over a section of the I-10 is coming together, making use of the space above the freeway and removing an eyesore.

A new list of priorities were written up for the “Downtown Community Plan,” a plan first announced in 2016 to improve parts of Santa Monica. One priority in particular, the Gateway Master Plan (GMP), focuses on the area around the I-10, the Sears, the Wyndham and a portion of the BBB site. According to Constance Farrell, Public Information Manager for the city of Santa Monica, the goal of the GMP is to “more seamlessly link downtown and the civic center and improve access at the mouth of Santa Monica – the 4th/5th street 1-10 entrance/exit.”

The GMP looks at the stretch of the I-10 next to Santa Monica City Hall and the Ken Genser Square. It is an idea that was proposed about two decades ago, but is just now being fully fleshed out.

The cap, which is something of a large shelf, would hold a public park above the busy highway. The cap would also increase the size of sidewalks, bike lanes and more around and above the western terminus of the I-10. It would be a much more attractive site, greeting visitors traveling on the I-10 with a nicer welcome to the city.

The plan, which was originally written up in February 2016 and adopted by the city’s Planning and Community Development Department in July 2017, was brought up at this week’s City Council meeting. Other parts of the Downtown Community Plan, namely the updates toward neighborhoods on Pico Blvd, were moved up the list of priorities.

“The commitment remains to move the GMP forward before 2021,” indicated Farrell. The GMP is still in its early stages of planning, so no complete timetable has been announced yet.