JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – Missouri Governor Mike Parson said today Missouri will receive up to $28.8 million in federal aid to rehabilitate the MacArthur Bridge in St. Louis. The bridge, owned by the Terminal Railroad Association, carries rail freight and passenger trains over the Mississippi River and connects St. Louis, Missouri, to East St. Louis, Illinois.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration distributes the grants under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program and the Special Transportation Circumstances Program. More than $326 million will fund 45 state and local railroad infrastructure projects in 29 states.
The rehabilitation will allow the bridge to accommodate 315,000 pound railcars and will extend the life of the bridge until about 2085.
“This grant will fund critical repairs to the MacArthur Bridge, an important conduit between Missouri and Illinois for both freight and people,” Governor Parson said. “When the work is complete, the bridge will be wider and safer and will last for many more years.”
“This grant shows the ongoing commitment of the Federal Railroad Administration to providing critical public investments in the St. Louis area and U.S. economy. The awarded funds are critical to maintaining the current level of service to cargoes shipped by rail and passengers on Amtrak, which in turn reduces congestion and wear and tear on the region’s highways,” said Terminal Railroad Association President Mike McCarthy.
The Federal Railroad Administration in 2017 provided more than $7 million for the bridge’s Broadway Truss component. Together, the two grants will complete the 100-year old bridge’s rehabilitation.
According to a 2017 Benefit/Cost Analysis conducted by Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, 150 million gross tons cross the river over the MacArthur and Merchants bridges combined every year.