Metro engages in two areas of activity: one, transit operations for MetroLink, MetroBus and Metro Call-A-Ride, and two, capital projects. “Capital” projects are projects that add to the infrastructure of the system – think buses, railroad ties, bridges, and buildings. Major repairs, too, like replacing parts of the track or the overhead catenary system, come out of our capital budget, much of which is funded by grants from the federal government. These projects help maintain the region’s investments by keeping the system running, and through enhancement projects, running better.
The bridge over Vandeventer Avenue, which held two MetroLink tracks and one freight rail track in the Central West End of St. Louis, was 80 years old and falling apart. Really, it looked like it was physically sagging. The $5 million replacement project was possible thanks to a federal grant. Crews began work on December 26, 2009, and the bridge returned to service on December 31. Watch a time-lapse of the demolition and construction of the Vandeventer Bridge in six days:
The bridge’s makeover will eventually include streetscape enhancements and replacing a crumbling retaining wall, and will be completed in early spring. In addition to making the bridge safer to carry MetroLink train cars, the project also increased the bridge’s height clearance for automobilies. This was Metro’s first “Design-Build” project, where Metro works with one contractor to both design and build the project to avoid time delays and added costs.
So the next time you are driving or walking on Vandeventer Avenue, come check it out!