Twenty-First Century

She didn’t come easy. (Are bridges female? Like ships?) And she’s in progress, not complete.

Highway and bridge projects require funding. And when they cross state lines they require cooperation through all phases: planning, design, site selection, connections, and actual construction. They talked about it for years. One state proposed a toll bridge. The other adamantly apposed. River shipping has the right-of-way. You can’t put a bridge pier just anywhere.

I first believed it was more than words when I saw some of the early pier work in 2010. Twenty-eight months after that first actual sighting by my own eyes, two graceful towers rise, one near each shore of the Mississippi. Workers continue to install bridge deck and the long cables to support it. For this will be a cable stayed bridge, a design of other, newer bridges across the same river.

When finished, this structure will carry I-70 from the north edge of downtown St. Louis into Illinois. Can you hear the sigh of relief from the Poplar?

Wait for 2014 to cross.

Wait for 2014 to cross.

This concludes our introduction to the bridges of downtown St. Louis.

My apologies. You cannot see this newest addition from the top of the Grand Stairs on the Arch Grounds. Well, maybe with binoculars and a little more height than my modest 5’5″.

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