As I remarked recently, for some St. Louisans, this will be the third Grand Viaduct over Mill Creek in their lifetimes. Let us hope it is the last. I still can’t believe they tore down the old one; august and massive, it was our own Brooklyn Bridge, right in the heart of the city. But alas, as you can see at 3:34 in this old movie, it fell victim to “progress.”[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opNtTeHHfWg&w=420&h=315]
Now sixty or so years later, I was driving on the exit ramp under the new bridge, and spotted these large white monoliths. I finally realized they were huge blocks of styrofoam, which are also being used in the filling of the old Tucker Tunnel downtown. I even glimpsed some of the old masonry for the original bridge, but I was not able to photograph before it was covered by new construction.
Regardless of the cost of revamping the original bridge, I can’t imagine it being more than the cost of building two new bridges in its place in as many generations.