Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  Metro unveiled plans Tuesday to restore the historic Eads Bridge, the first extensive rehabilitation of the support structure of the bridge since it first opened to the public on July 4, 1874.

“This $36 million rehabilitation is the first of its kind in the history of the bridge,” said Metro President & CEO John Nations during a morning ceremony on the riverfront. “Certain elements of the structural steel will be replaced, no less than nine coatings of paint will be removed along with varying degrees of rust and corrosion. The entire structure will then be treated with a protective coating and a final layer of paint will be applied.”

The project’s largely funded with $34 million in federal support, $25 million from ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds.

The city of St. Louis, which co-owns the bridge with Metro, contributed a $4.8 million federal grant toward completion of the project.

Of the $36 million total, $2.4 million comes from local funds.

“Keeping this essential bridge safe and in good working order is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Therese MCMillan, Deputy Federal Transit Administrator. “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, highway, and transit systems — so that future generations enjoy safe, reliable transportation wherever they live and work.”

Work gets started almost immediately with an eye toward completion by the fall of 2015.



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