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The MacArthur Bridge

The MacArthur Bridge, originally the Municipal Free Bridge, was built by the City of St. Louis to break the monopoly the Terminal Railroad held on the Eads Bridge.

The bridge is gigantic, and you don’t really get a sense of its scale until you stand beneath it, taking in the sheer size of the structure.

The piers themselves are massive works of masonry, perhaps only laid a few years before poured concrete would replace them as the primary material for bridge piers.

The superstructure is painted black, creating an interesting positive/negative space contrast when looking up against a sun filled sky.

If you look closely, you can see the clamp marks left on the stones after they were hoisted into place on the piers.

Across the river, massive buttresses took the railroad across the Bloody Island marshlands and railyards into East St. Louis.

I would love to see the roaddeck reopened to somebody, whether it’s bicyclists, pedestrians or cars. The infamous hairpin turns encouraged the Terminal Railroad (which ironically flipped its ownership of the Eads Bridge for the MacArthur) to close the road deck and demolish large portions of it.

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