Rating:
4 votes

Merchants Bridge

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Photos 

Overview

Photo taken by Jack Schmidt

Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Three-span through truss railroad bridge over the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Venice, Illinois
Location
St. Louis, Missouri, and Madison County, Illinois
Status
Open to two tracks of railroad traffic. Only one train is allowed to cross the bridge at a time, due to its age.
Future prospects
Slated for replacement, currently $150M earmarked; however no timetable established
History
Completed in May 1890; approaches rebuilt in 2005
Builders
- E.L. Corthell (Chief engineer)
- George S. Morison of New Bedford, Massachusetts (Consulting engineer)
- H.W. Parkhurst (Resident engineer)
- Union Bridge Co. (Contractor)
Design
Three-span Pennsylvania through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.67482, -90.18642   (decimal degrees)
38°40'29" N, 90°11'11" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/744765/4284449 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Granite City
Inventory number
BH 22652 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 9, 2013: New Street View added by J.P.
  • May 11, 2012: Updated by Kim Harvey: this bridge is slated for replacement
  • October 8, 2011: New photos from Ben Tate
  • December 21, 2010: Updated by Mark Dellbringge: Modified status description
  • September 13, 2010: New photo from Eric Kinkhorst
  • March 10, 2006: Posted photo from Jack Schmidt

Sources 

Comments 

Merchants Bridge
Posted March 31, 2011, by Sharon Spear (sweetsexysharon [at] gmail [dot] com)

Federal money...contain themselves...in the same sentence? No, they can't contain themselves.

I wish the Bridgehunter community could get the federal bridge money that all the states receive. I'm sure there's a LOT of bridges we could save. And probably save money doing it too!

Wake up Sharon! You were dreaming....

Merchants Bridge
Posted March 30, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

They just can't contain themselves can they? Hey, here's another landmark nationally significant historic truss bridge we haven't blown up and sent to the scrapyard yet, lets waste a bunch of tax dollars to replace it with a cable-stayed bridge so all of America can look like Vancouver.

If they do attempt to replace this bridge I will ensure this bridge is found eligible for the National Register which will trigger Section 106.

Merchants Bridge
Posted March 30, 2011, by Lyon Wonder (lyon_wonder [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Replace the Merchant's bridge with what? All the Mississippi river railroad bridges have been trusses. IIRC, the newest railroad crossing across the Mississippi river in the midwest was the CB&Q/BN/BNSF bridge at Qunicy, IL, built in 1960.

Merchants Bridge
Posted March 30, 2011, by Sharon Spear (sweetsexysharon [at] gmail [dot] com)

Uh-Oh! Federal money involved! The second paragraph in this article:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_d1379b81-84...

Merchants Bridge
Posted August 24, 2009, by Mark Dellbringge

I think the TRRA owns the Merchants Bridge, just as they do the MacArthur bridge downstream. However it is used by many of the local railroad companies (UP, NS and BNSF among others). Due to its age (built in 1890) only one train is allowed to cross the main span of the Merchants Bridge at a time, despite the approaches having been rebuilt.

Merchants Bridge
Posted April 14, 2009, by jack (jackkav [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

what rr is this on?

Merchants Bridge
Posted October 15, 2008, by Mark Dellbringge

The steel inside the bridge was modified a long time ago to accomodate taller freight. The approaches to the Merchants Bridge were rebuilt in 2005.

Merchants Bridge
Posted October 29, 2005, by KEN AVIS (d1avis [at] comcast [dot] net)

I LIVED IN A SMALL HOUSEBOAT WE CALLED "THE SHACK" WHICH WAS ON THE BANK OF THE RIVER NOT MORE THAN 100 YARDS SOUTH OF THIS BRIDGE ON THE ST. LOUIS SIDE FROM 1942 THROUGH 1947. MY BROTHERS AND I DELIGHTED IN CLIMBING INTO THE STRUCTURE OF THE BRIDGE TO FIND PIGEON NESTS.

MY SISTER USED TO MIMICK THE SOUND OF TRAIN ENGINES CROSSING THE BRIDGE AND THEREBY GAINED HER NICKNAME WHICH SHE IS STILL KNOWN BY TODAY WHICH SHORTENED IS "CHUKE".