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The Eads Bridge

Updated in September 2018 with rearranged photos and additional commentary.

The Eads Bridge is my favorite bridge across the Mississippi River in downtown, though the MacArthur is a close second. The oldest bridge across the river at St. Louis, it utilized structural steel on a massive scale for the first time. Interestingly, though, there is evidence that cast iron was still used, as well.

The giant tubes of steel or iron were revolutionary for the strength they provided for the arches.

They would also be used for the Firth of Forth Bridge in Scotland, which I had the opportunity to finally visit in the winter of 2013.

The other challenge of the Eads Bridge was creating a span that connected to a flood plain on the Illinois side in East St. Louis and to the bluffs on the St. Louis side.

The massive arches would be at home in a Roman aqueduct or basilica.




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