Merchants Bridge Main Span Truss Replacement and East Approach Retrofit

St. Louis, Missouri
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis

After 127 years of service, the Merchants Bridge, a historic Mississippi River crossing, has exceeded its design life and its operational capacity continues to decrease. The bridge’s current capacity limits the existing double track bridge to allowing only one train to pass at a time causing significant delays in freight movement. This has resulted in congestion and delays as well as increased operational costs for the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRAA), Amtrak, and the five Class I freight railroads that rely on the crossing.

To address the issues and extend the life of the historic bridge, TranSystems lead environmental services, including assisting with the NEPA process, permitting and compliance and is leading the design working with the TRAA on the rehabilitation of the main span trusses and east approach. The new structure will replace the existing three through-truss main spans up to 520 feet in length. The east approach includes six deck plate girder spans constructed in 2006 and 31 multi-beam spans constructed in the 1890s. Improvements will help revitalize this critical ink in the transcontinental railroad system.

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