Grand Viaduct, Styrofoam and Bad Decisions

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. 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.

One Comment Add yours

  1. I saw part of the old bridge coming down! I was a freshman at SLU. That was sure a beautiful relic of the Industrial Age – but sadly neglected with the tremendous amount of maintenance it needed.I had not realized that part of the original 1889 masonry was in the 1960 bridge, let alone the new one!

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