Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge
|Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge|
Under construction, January 2013
|Official name||Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge|
|Carries||4 lanes of I-70, expandable to 6|
|Locale||St. Louis, Missouri and St. Clair County, Illinois|
|Maintained by||MoDOT and IDOT|
|Total length||2,803 feet (854 m)|
|Width||102 feet (31 m)|
|Longest span||1,500 feet (457 m)|
|Clearance below||75 feet (23 m)|
|Construction cost||$695 mil.|
|Opened||February 9, 2014 12:00 p.m. |
|Inaugurated||February 8, 2014|
|Daily traffic||40,000 cars and trucks|
The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge (known as the New Mississippi River Bridge until its formal naming in 2013 and informally known as the "Stan Span") is a bridge across the Mississippi River between St. Clair County, Illinois, and the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Built between April 19, 2010, and July 2013, the bridge opened on February 9, 2014. The cable-stayed bridge has a main span of 1,500 feet (457 m).
The main span of the bridge is 1,500 feet (460 m) in length, with a total span of 2,803 feet. It is 86 feet (26 m) wide. Cables stretch from the bridge deck to the tops of two A-shaped towers, which reach 435 feet (133 m) above I-70. The new bridge’s main span consists of 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of 0.6-inch-diameter (15 mm) stay-cable strand, enough for nearly two round trips from St. Louis to Chicago. Nearly 15,000 tons of structural steel are used, along with 8,600 tons of reinforcing steel. Some 90,600 cubic yards of concrete are in the foundation, deck slab, and towers. At its completion, the bridge was the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the United States.
The bridge was built to relieve traffic on nearby bridges, and to expand with traffic in the future. Initially, it is meant to reduce traffic by 20% on the Poplar Street Bridge, which carries I-55, I-64, I-70, and US 40; and 50% on the Martin Luther King Bridge. It carries four mainline traffic lanes (half as many as planned), with room to add a lane in each direction, and it is designed so that a companion bridge could be built beside it.
At the bridge's opening, Interstate 70 was re-routed, diverging from the current I-70 at Cass Avenue to connect with Interstate 55/Interstate 64/I-70 in East St. Louis. The remaining stretch of I-70 through downtown St. Louis became Interstate 44.
The cost of the original design of the bridge and surrounding area was estimated at nearly $1.7 billion. After both state governments decided that they could not bear the cost, a new design was submitted in 2007 with an estimated cost of $667 million. Of the total, $264 million will go to move I-70 in Illinois, $57 million to move I-70 in Missouri, and $346 million to build the bridge. The Illinois state government plans to spend $313 million; Missouri, $115 million. A federal grant will cover the other $239 million. The actual cost was $695 million.
Toll bridge proposal
The funding of the bridge project was debated by the Illinois and Missouri governments. After receiving the federal grant, Illinois pushed to start as soon as possible, but Missouri said it had more pressing highway projects to work on. Missouri transportation officials proposed to privatize the bridge, which would have allowed a private company to charge tolls in return for building, operating and maintaining it for up to 99 years. But Illinois officials and several St. Louis congressman demanded a toll-free crossing, and this was ratified by an agreement signed February 28, 2008, by Missouri governor Matt Blunt and Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
The cost of building the main span was initially estimated at $190 million. This proved low; a $229.5 million contract was awarded on December 30, 2009, to a joint venture of Massman Construction Co. of Kansas City, Traylor Bros. Inc. of Indiana and St. Louis-based Alberici Corp. (The team beat out the $274.9 million bid by a joint venture of American Bridge Co. and Dragados USA.) MoDOT agreed to cover any cost overruns. This has prompted speculation[by whom?] that the project might be scaled back.
Design and construction
Subsurface exploration by geotechnical engineering company Modjeski and Masters showed thick deposits of low-density sand below the water table. Such loose sand might liquify during an earthquake. Several ways to reduce the risk were considered, including in-situ densification of the sands, but ultimately the foundations were changed to feature 12-foot-diameter (3.7 m), 120-foot-long (37 m) drilled piers founded in the limestone bedrock to support the bridge superstructure. The bedrock is 120 feet (37 m) below the surface on the Illinois side and between 30 and 60 feet (18 m) on the Missouri side.
In 2003, land intended to be used for the bridge was sold by the City of St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority to a private developer for $2. In early 2008, MoDOT warned the developer not to build on it, but the developer completed the construction of 400 storage units. MoDOT offered a $1.7 million buyout, which the developer turned down. The property was condemned, and a circuit court ordered MoDOT to give the developer $2.3 million in compensation. MoDOT is contesting this amount.
Minority labor controversies
In August 2011, community leaders in East St. Louis lodged complaints with the Illinois Department of Transportation that the bridge labor force included too few minority workers. Federal law requires that the labor force on any public works project that is fully or partially funded by federal dollars must be composed of at least 14.6% members of a recognized minority group. The project meets these requirements, according to contractor records; the activists argued that the labor force was not representative of those living in the region. A protest and work stoppage on the Illinois portion of the bridge was threatened but work on the bridge continued.
Riley Illinois, a firm that is supplying concrete for the project, was de-listed as a minority-owned business when Illinois officials discovered that only one of the four owners of the firm was a minority. Though the company is still contracted to provide concrete for the bridge, it no longer counts as a minority-owned firm.
At 10:30 a.m. on March 28, 2012, carpenter Andy Gammon plunged to his death when a barge-mounted lift toppled. A rescue effort was unsuccessful.
In August 2004, William Perkins and Russ Reike, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, gave Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL) petitions with over 4,000 signatures supporting the naming of the new bridge "Veteran's Memorial Bridge". There is a Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Missouri River, while Martin Luther King Bridge was called "Veterans Memorial Bridge" until it was renamed in 1968. The naming proposal was supported by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. When the bridge was delayed by Missouri's postponement of funding, the petitions expired. Perkins and Reiki, joined by fellow VFW member Dave Stout, again collected signatures and in 2009 tuned over to Rep. Costello petitions with more than 13,000 names.
In March 2011, the Missouri House of Representatives approved a proposal to change the name to "Jerry F. Costello-William Lacy 'Bill' Clay Sr. Veterans Memorial Bridge". One month later, the Missouri Senate Transportation Committee rejected the change.
Some groups pushed for "Women Veterans Memorial Bridge".
On January 22, 2013, Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale, Missouri) and another Missouri state senator[who?] introduced a bill to name the bridge after Stan Musial, the former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player who had recently died. The measure required the approval of both houses of both the Illinois and Missouri legislatures. The measure received the first of two necessary approvals from the Missouri Senate on February 20, 2013. An amendment to the Musial bill, sponsored by Sen. Gary Romine (Farmington, Missouri), named the Missouri approach to the bridge the Andy Gammon Memorial Highway in honor of the bridge worker who died.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge construction.|
|This article uses citations that link to broken or outdated sources. (June 2013)|
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- Pub.L. 113–18
- Official website
- New Mississippi River Bridge at Saint Louis at Structurae
- Construction Web Camera at oxblue.com
- 360 Degree Panorama at DrPanorama.com