This story was originally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on February 28, 2020.
Mark Schlinkmann | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“A federal agency agreed Thursday to kick in $21.5 million to help pay for the ongoing replacement of the 130-year-old Merchants Bridge, two years after turning down a request for a much larger grant.
The $172 million project, on one of two local bridges used by railroads to get across the Mississippi River between the city and Metro East, began last year.
The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, which owns the bridge, said the new Federal Railroad Administration grant frees up railroad money to address other local infrastructure needs.
The association, owned by five major freight railroads, is paying for the rest of the work on the bridge.
When finance, contingency, insurance and other costs are added in, the total price tag jumps to $220 million, said Asim Raza, a Terminal Railroad executive.
Replacement of the bridge had been designated the metro area’s top infrastructure priority by the St. Louis Regional Freightway, a booster organization for the area’s freight industry…”