New Spruce Street Bridge Is Ready for Baseball Fans and Traffic
The new Spruce Street Bridge, located at 8th and Spruce Streets next to the Stadium MetroLink Station, is now open to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Construction on the Metro transit project to replace the previous Spruce Street Bridge got underway last fall when the baseball season ended.
Metro selected Kozeny Wagner as the general contractor and AECOM was awarded the project design contract. Federal funding was secured by Metro to pay for 80 percent of the $7.5 million total project cost with the remaining 20 percent coming from local funds.
The bridge, which was originally built in 1874 and then partially rebuilt in the 1930’s, had deteriorated to the point it needed to be replaced. Over the past several months, crews demolished the old bridge and built a new bridge road deck, new abutments, new supports and new wider sidewalks. As part of the project, updates were also made to the Stadium Station, including new stairs and improved pedestrian access. Temporary fencing will stay in place on the south side of the Spruce Street Bridge through the summer months until crews are able to relocate a nearby steam line.
The south entrance to the Stadium MetroLink Station, which had been closed in October to accommodate the construction work, has now reopened so Metro passengers are once again able to enter and exit the station from both Clark and Spruce Streets. Tens of thousands of baseball fans and stadium workers utilize the Stadium Station each year.
“The Spruce Street Bridge needed a complete rebuild to address several age-related structural issues,” said Ray Friem, Executive Director of Metro Transit. “This reconstruction project has preserved this important piece of the region’s transportation infrastructure, and ensures the safety of the thousands of visitors who use the bridge each year to travel to downtown St. Louis.”
The bridge demolition and construction occurred over the MetroLink tracks, and in order to minimize the impact on Metro passengers and commuters, the project was deliberately scheduled for the winter when transit ridership is historically lower and to coincide with the St. Louis Cardinals offseason. Other than the bridge demolition weekend in January, MetroLink trains were able to stay in service through downtown St. Louis during the construction project, with only minimal delays or disruptions occurring.
The new Spruce Street Bridge was designed to complement surrounding architecture. Red bricks featuring small arches on the bridge deck facade are similar to the red brick exterior at Busch Stadium.
Metro is the operator of the St. Louis region’s public transportation system, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; 399 MetroBus vehicle fleet that operates on 78 MetroBus routes in Missouri and Illinois; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 122 vans. Metro is an enterprise of Bi-State Development (BSD), which also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and its surrounding industrial business park; the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center and Gateway Arch trams. BSD also operates the Bi-State Development Research Institute and the Regional Freight District.