Third and Final Truss Installed at Merchants Bridge
St. Louis, MO – Walsh Construction and Mammoet have installed the third and final steel truss at the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis’ Merchants Bridge. This achievement marked the final major construction milestone for the rehabilitation of the historic rail crossing. The third truss, weighing approximately 9,000,000 pounds, was floated, raised and put in place over the Mississippi River. Similar techniques were used on the first truss replacement in September 2021 and the second truss in March 2022.
The Merchants Bridge rehabilitation focuses on the main span truss and east approach which will allow both tracks to become serviceable on the bridge at the same time. Previously, rail and maritime traffic had become congested due to outdated limitations, necessary repairs and continued maintenance. Doubling the capacity of the bridge will assist in meeting the projected future freight and passenger rail demand and reduce delays for motorists and emergency vehicles. With the improvements being made, the historic bridge can continue to be an important link between Illinois and Missouri for passengers and freight alike.
(Image credits: Trey Cambern Photography)
The replacement of the bridge had been an identified need going back to 2016. The Merchants Bridge is a vital rail artery that had been deemed the region’s top freight infrastructure priority by the St. Louis Regional Freightway for the last five years. The Freightway is nationally recognized for its innovative and collaborative approach to creating a Priority Projects List that identifies key infrastructure projects and advocates for funding for them.
Walsh Construction is the general contractor for the Merchants Bridge project, with TranSystems and Burns & McDonnell serving as the project engineers. Mammoet provided support to remove the original truss section and lift and place the new steel structure. The steel fabrication is being done by Veritas Steel in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.