Merchants’ Bridge

Update: The bridge is being replaced with new trusses and renovated piers. See the bridge two-thirds of the way through reconstruction, and see the new bridge complete.

The Merchants’ Bridge emerges from the undergrowth on the Far North Riverfront.

It is a very old bridge, built only slightly more than a decade after the much more famous Eads Bridge. The McKinley Bridge is just to the south.

Opened in 1889, it was built to prevent a monopoly by the Terminal Railroad Association, who had taken over the Eads Bridge.

I find it interesting that there are so many bridge from downtown north, but none south until you reach the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.

Clearly the route west and the industrial might of the North Side was the cause.

Interestingly, it is one of the few bridges I’ve seen with very obvious power lines above it.

There is talk of replacing this old guy with a new bridge, which would be sad, but also, quite frankly, the logical thing to do from an economic standpoint.

The bridge piers are massive! And two different types of stone. You can still see the clamp marks where the cranes hoisted the giant blocks of stone into place.

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