Poplar Street Bridge slide breaks record in length, could take up to 12 hours

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – On Saturday, March 31, construction crews will carry out the relatively unusual maneuver of picking up and moving the four eastbound lanes on the Poplar Street Bridge 9 feet to the south.
That will allow space to build a new fifth eastbound lane between now and December, when the bridge project is expected to be completed. The westbound lane total will remain at four. Missouri and Illinois are adding a fifth eastbound lane to the bridge and making other updates. The $54 million project aims to ease traffic congestion.
The slide and new eastbound lane are just part of a $54 million overhaul aimed at reducing traffic congestion, improving safety and extending the life of the Mississippi River bridge, which opened in 1967, another 25 to 30 years.
The Missouri Department of Transportation, which is in charge of the project, says the shift of the 2,165-foot-long section of roadway will be the second longest bridge slide in U.S. history.
Michelle Forneris, MoDOT’s area engineer for St. Louis, adds that this one is unique because other slide projects typically involve construction of all-new bridges on temporary piers, then moving them to older permanent piers.
That includes the record-holder for length, a 2,427-foot replacement bridge built in 2014 across the Ohio River between Milton, Kentucky, and Madison, Indiana.
MoDOT officials say the method was chosen here partly because it’s less expensive than adding a new eastbound lane on the right. They also say it will make the bridge, which now is two separate spans separated by a narrow gap, stronger by tying them together.
In preparation for the slide (and construction of the new lane during the coming months), the spaces between the columns supporting the bridge have been partly filled in by extending the reinforced concrete, creating wall-like piers.
Forneris said 26 hydraulic jacks on the piers will raise the 20.4-million-pound stretch of roadway about an inch; the moving process involves special pads and a slide track.
The shift will take as long as 12 hours

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News