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January 2023

Walsh Construction wins NRC 2022 Large Project of the Year Award

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) has awarded Walsh Construction with the Large Project of the Year Award for the rehabilitation of the Merchants Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis' landmark $222 million project modernized the 132-year-old Merchants Bridge, a piece of critical infrastructure over the Mississippi River, which is one of the nation’s primary east-west rail corridors serving one of America’s largest rail hubs by car interchange volume and gross tonnage. This project doubles the capacity on the bridge to facilitate two freight trains at the same time and move freight faster, more cost effectively and more reliably.

The overall project included the removal and replacement of the three river-span trusses, seismically retrofitting the existing river piers, and improving the east approach. As a design-bid-build project, led by Walsh Construction, reconstruction of the bridge used innovative project delivery methods that have improved safety and speeded completion while limiting bridge and river traffic outages. Through careful planning and coordination, the project team was able to limit the number of days of rail outages to just 30 days over the four years of the project.

Walsh Construction rehabilitated the bridge by installing three truss sections, each weighing approximately 9,000,000 pounds. Each truss was floated, raised and put in place over the Mississippi River; these techniques were used on all three replacements. Click on the links to see replacements during September 2021 (first truss), March 2022 (second truss), and August 2022 (third truss).

(Image credits: Trey Cambern Photography)



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