The MetroLink tracks on the south side of the historic Eads Bridge are now back in service, and MetroLink trains are once again operating on both the eastbound and westbound tracks across the Mississippi River.
The eastbound tracks on the south side of the bridge were closed in late 2014 to accommodate the Eads Bridge Rehabilitation project, and both eastbound and westbound MetroLink trains shared the same tracks on the north side of the Eads Bridge during the closure.
The Eads Bridge Rehabilitation Project is the first comprehensive, full-scale rehabilitation of the 142-year-old Eads Bridge, according to Bi-State Development, whose transportation arm, Metro, shares ownership of the bridge with the city of St. Louis. Metro acquired the rights to the Eads Bridge as part of the original MetroLink project.
The bridge connects St. Louis to East St. Louis.
The project is designed to extend the life of the bridge for another 50 years through rehabilitating and restoring the steel truss and superstructure.
In addition, the structural flooring system for MetroLink has been completely replaced on the Eads Bridge with new rails and ties, and messenger and contact wire
that are used to power the trains have been upgraded to new overhead conductor rail, which is designed to help improve the light rail system’s efficiency and reliability.
During the four-year-long project, Metro said it worked hard to minimize delays for passengers.
The project is going into its final stages, but when all the bills are in, Bi-State anticipates a total investment of approximately $48 million, a spokesman said.
Federal funds are supporting 91 percent of the total cost, and local funds are supporting 9 percent.
The federal/local split is usually 80/20, however the local investment is less because operators were able to secure $27 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that did not require a local match.
Current MetroLink schedules will not be affected by the reopening of the eastbound tracks.
The Eads Bridge Rehabilitation Project is expected to be finished later this summer. The public will be invited to a special completion event.
— From the Illinois Business Journal