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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Officials kick off Eads Bridge Rehabilitation project

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Officials kick off Eads Bridge Rehabilitation project FTA

Deputy Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan joined Missouri and Illinois officials to kick off the Eads Bridge Rehabilitation Project, which will repair and restore the historic, 138-year old bridge and ensure safe and efficient light-rail service for thousands of people who use the bridge to cross the Mississippi River every day.

The $36 million project is funded in part by more than $34 million in federal dollars, including $25 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and $9 million in additional federal transit funds directed to the Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District. Local funds will cover the remaining cost to modernize and repair the bridge, which was built in 1874.

"Keeping this essential bridge safe and in good working order is not a luxury, it's a necessity," said Deputy Administrator McMillan. "All across America, the infrastructure we depend on, like this bridge, is in need of modernization and repairs. We must protect and preserve all our existing transportation assets, bridges, highways, transit systems and more, so that future generations enjoy safe, reliable transportation wherever they live and work."

More than 300 jobs are expected to be created during the major reconstruction of the bridge, with a local firm, St. Louis Bridge Construction Company, at the helm. Workers will replace support steel that dates back to the 1920s, upgrade the MetroLink track system and blast and paint the entire superstructure with a protective coating to prevent future rust. The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2015.

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