Eads Bridge Named a Top Structure by SSPC

The 142-year-old Eads Bridge, rehabilitated in a project that ran from 2012 through 2016, was the first bridge in the world to use steel as its primary construction component. (Photo: St. Louis Bridge Construction Co.) 

The newly renovated Eads Bridge at St. Louis was recently recognized with a Structure Award by SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings. The 142-year-old bridge is notable for an number of construction firsts. It was the first bridge in the world to use steel as its primary construction component, and at 6,442 ft, it was also the longest arch bridge in the world when it was completed.

The $48 million rehabilitation project was necessary to extend the life of the bridge so it could continue to carry vehicles, pedestrians and MetroLink trains across the Mississippi River, providing a critical link between downtown St. Louis and East St. Louis, Ill. It is the only connection for MetroLink between the two states, carrying 300 MetroLink trains each day.

The four-year rehabilitation project included replacing aging support steel, sand blasting and painting the entire superstructure, and repairing the MetroLink track system. MetroLink maintained service in both directions on one track while working on the other. The project was completed last spring.

For more about this steel icon, see the article “The Eads Bridge: A Revolution in Bridge Building” from our March 2011 issue. You can view all of the SSPC award-winning coatings projects here.