Friday, June 17, 2016

MacArthur Bridge in St. Louis, IL

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges?; John Weeks III3D Satellite, 74+ photos)

(Update: this is also called the Municipal Bridge.)
Street View
Street View

William A. Shaffer posted
The MacArthur Bridge
The MacArthur Bridge is the tallest bridge at St. Louis, MO. Once a railroad and automobile bridge, it now serves railroad traffic only. (Photo by William A. Shaffer)

Of note in the 116 photos is a collection of photos when the bridge was constructed and opened.

William A. Shaffer posted
Amtrak E-Unit Crossing the Mississippi River via the MacArthur Bridge in St. Louis, MO.
(Photo by William A. Shaffer)
This photo was taken in the early 1970s. Since then, the highway deck on the bridge has been removed. The rail portion of the bridge remains in service.

William A. Shaffer posted
Looking Toward the MacArthur Bridge - St. Louis, MO
(Photo by William A. Shaffer) January, 2015.
William A. Shaffer posted
The Railroad at St. Louis
(Photo by William A. Shaffer)
St. Louis gets shortchanged a lot, in my opinion. It's not Chicago, New York City, or Los Angeles. But it has its own charm. At one time, it was a railroad hub nearly rivaling Chicago! I believe the factory on the right-hand side is Grunden-Martin, whatever that is/was. I think that might be the MacArthur Bridge in the background. The factory appears to be shuttered and has broken windows scattered on its face. The MacArthur Bridge is now closed to all but railroad traffic. Time has not always been generous to St. Louis.Larry LeCrone That elevated line had a 5 or 8 mph curve in it.William A. Shaffer It worries me just looking at it in this photograph. I certainly would not have been wanting to wye a train late at night! I suspect you may have done so!MItchel Schuessler What year was this?William A. Shaffer January 6, 2015
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the Terminal Railroad Association (TRAA) owned both bridges across the Mississippi --- Eads and Merchants --- and charged monopoly rates to use them. So the City of St. Louis built this bridge during 1907-1917 to break that monopoly. The upper deck carrying cars was finished first. Later the lower deck carried railroads. The car deck was closed in 1981 because Interstate bridges made the needed maintenance work obsolete. Since the city did not want to own a railroad bridge, it swapped this bridge for the Eads in 1989. In the name of security, the car deck has been removed rather than converted to a trail. 30-40 trains a day cross the bridge. (Fox2, Oct 21, 2014) A video includes historical photos and drone shots. This bridge also carries Amtrak trains.

Birds-Eye View
William A. Shaffer posted
Amfleet Into St. Louis 
(Photo by William A. Shaffer)
Amfleet cars, built by the Budd Company, were the first new cars Amtrak received. Their arrival on the property heralded a new era in rail passenger comfort. A Chicago-St. Louis train is shown on the MacArthur Bridge, preparing to arrive at St. Louis.
Because of the baggage cars, the comments indicate this is probably the National Limited.]
William A. Shaffer posted
Terminal Railroad Switchers on the Trestle Approaching the MacArthur Bridge. The Poplar Street Bridge is in the background.
(Photo by William A. Shaffer)
Luke Credi posted
UP manifest crossing the MacArthur bridge in St. Louis. Boy was I lucky.

Jennifer Orick posted
St. Louis Missouri, over the Mississippi River.
July 4th, 2018.

Bob Mcgilvray Jr. posted
St. Louis, Missouri - May 2012 - Mississippi River

William A. Shaffer posted
The Great Flood of 1973 at St. Louis, MO
A family gets a firsthand look at the Mississippi River during The Great Flood of 1973 at St. Louis, MO. (Photo by William A. Shaffer)
[Back when the bridge not only had a car deck, there were cars using it. It looks like the river was all the way up to the flood wall.]
William A. Shaffer posted
On the Wye at St. Louis . (5.03.17)
(Photo by William A. Shaffer)
The MacArthur Bridge is shown in the background.
Steve Porter Also known as the Free Bridge, which carried Route 66 at one time. No auto traffic in more than 35 years. Too bad. It brought you in on Chouteau from East St. Louis.
William A. Shaffer posted
The MacArthur Bridge
The MacArthur Bridge is the tallest bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Louis, MO and was renamed during World War II to honor General of the Army Douglas Arthur MacArthur. Prior to that, it was known to locals as "The Free Bridge". It is my favorite St. Louis Bridge. The highway deck has been removed, leaving only railroad usage now. (Photo by William A. Shaffer)
Steven J. Brown posted
Union Pacific 844 crossing the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri - June 14, 1990.
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad publicity photo, from Steve Parsons Collection accessed at trra-hts
[You can see traffic on the now removed car deck.]
Terry Redeker shared his post
Was able to get another shot off of my most wanted drone shots list yesterday. Always wanted to shoot the MacArthur Mississippi River Bridge with the St.Louis skyline. Amtrak Texas Eagle rolls across on its way to Chicago. 12/22/2018
Another share
Mike Mitchell posted
This photo of MacArthur Bridge came from another St. Louis closed page, so I had to copy and share. No info on the origin of the photo. The roadway (closed for decades and now removed) was elevated above the tracks. I crossed this bridge a lot back in the early 80s and it didn’t appear to be in great shape then. Still used today.
If you look off to the right you can see another connection coming up from the area of Lesperance Street yard. It was on a relatively steep, sharp curve and more than one train has “stringlined” and dumped cars off the bridge.
Dennis Faircloth good picture I am not sure if train on bridge is coming or going.
Mike Mitchell Dennis - coming into St Louis and going down onto the TRRA.
Dennis Faircloth Ok about to come by Gratiot Street.
Mike Mitchell Dennis, you can remember better than me. That sounds right. B&O locomotives.
Tony Creamer Mike Mitchell Yes, and the lead looks to be an E6A by the slant of the nose....

Dennis Faircloth First time I ever crossed the bridge was in the middle of the night on the MI long barrel from Ste Genevieve Mo to Sparta Ill we had 4 or 5 geeps with over 100 loads of lime and lead, we went charging up Carroll street approach past the tower and around the curve out onto the main part of the bridge getting slower and slower and then the engines started bucking and jumping finally the engineer gave in and shut them down, and we waited for helpers to shove us on across the bridge The Engineer was a man named Red Grass and the Fireman was named Leo Vaeth, I do not recall the head brakeman. Once we stalled with the wind was blowing hard the bridge swaying back and forth the fireman reached in his grip and pulled out a life jacket and put it on and said to me "son where is yours" I was glad to get off it back on the ground even if I was in Valley Jct Ill. It would be over 40 years before I crossed it again and that time would be in style in the rear car of a UP business special.

Pat Meriwether I have lots of memories of the MacArthur Bridge, Gratiot St, Carroll St approach, 12th Street, Lesperance St, etc... I remember when I had just gone to the HDC in summer of 91 and we derailed on a Sunday afternoon between Illmo and Poplar Bluff (I've got a great Shoener story on that one) and the next day we detoured the NLAS via the Desoto Sub and at approx 11am they were grinding up the Carroll St approach when they stringlined 'em and we had haz may tank cars hanging off the bridge. They evacuated six square blocks if downtown St Louis at lunch hour. If Jim Gallamore is reading this, I will never forget talking to you after this derailment.

Mike Mitchell Pat, do you remember Kipp Hawley who was a VP with UP for a while? He later was the administrator of TSA after 9/11. He was a funny guy. We used him in MOP training and he used to tell the story of Shoener’s Island. 

He said that the best way of desc
ribing UP management was to use an illustration of an island. On this island, there was a huge, intense searchlight that would go round and round, searching the bays around the island. In the bays were large ships going about their business. The light paused as it passed each ship to see if everything was functioning properly; then it would continue its rotation. The captains of the ships hated the light, but they couldn’t move fast enough to avoid the light. Occasionally the light would spot something wrong on one of the ships. When it did, it would lock in on the ship and the intensity of the light would double. Every time that happened, the captains of all the other ships would rush to line up, one behind another, in the shadow cast by the bright light on the ship so the light couldn’t shine on them. “And that”, he said, “is Shoener’s Island and those captains are our superintendents.” I thought it was a pretty good illustration of the way things worked bank then.

[There are a lot of other meaty comments. But they use enough MoPac lingo (e.g. yard names) that I don't understand them.]

Mike commented on his post
Here’s a Google Earth View before the roadway was removed.

Raymond Story posted
Dave Yager: Zephyr Rocket
Glen Olbermann: Wow! A PRR boxcar in the consist!
Mashell Gee: Glen Olbermann express box car. Had steam and communication lines
[You can see vehicles on the upper deck of the bridge. And the power plant in the background still stands and has coal piles.]

Scott Nauert posted
Westbound merchandise train headed to North Platte, NE, crossing the MacArthur Bridge in St. Louis, MO, yesterday. -Scott

William A. Shaffer posted
At the MacArthur Bridge
[He is riding an Amtrak train.]
William A. Shaffer posted
Highway Deck has been removed
[I can see the above tress in the left background.]
William A. Shaffer posted
Long Trestle Off Of the MacArthur Bridge in E. St. Louis, IL
The "Texas Eagle" has crossed the MacArthur Bridge into E. St. Louis, IL. One of the long trestles going toward E. St. Louis is shown to the right. The foreground is such a pretty green! (Photo by William A. Shaffer)
William A. Shaffer posted
Steel Rails Gleam in the Sunlight (9.29.17)
The Steel Rails of the Trestle coming off of the MacArthur Bridge into E. St. Louis, IL gleam in the sunlight. (Photo by William A. Shaffer)

Scott Hauert posted
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis transfer job coming down the Carroll St. ramp off the MacArthur Bridge into Lesperance Yard on the 14th. Passing below on the shorter trestle is Union Pacific's LSE59. -Scott

Scott Hauert posted
Union Pacific's LSE59 coming south into Lesperance Yard this afternoon in St. Louis. -Scott

William A. Shaffer posted
Missouri Pacific on the Trestle at St. Louis, MO
I believe this is the trestle leading to the MacArthur Bridge.
(Photo by William A. Shaffer)
Dennis DeBruler A nice reminder that the approaches to the Mississippi bridges are non-trivial trestles in their own right.
William A. Shaffer posted
Elevated Tracks at the MacArthur Bridge - St. Louis, MO. (2.23.19)
(Photo by William A. Shaffer)

safe_image for ajot
[At first I thought the bridge in the foreground was the Merchants Bridge because it had three truss spans. But I learned that the MacArthur Bridge also has three truss spans. Futhermore, the Merchants Bridge is near the north side of St. Louis whereas the MacArthur Bridge is near the south side.]

David Cantrell posted
4 Bridges over Mississippi River at St. Louis, 1932. Part of East St. Louis Railroad Yard is visible.
  • National Archives Airscape Collection
[Again, this bridge is in the foreground.]
Erik Spoonmore Bottom to top
McArthur Bridge- Road on top double track on the bottom. Road deck removed but still used for rail today

Eads Bridge (1st Mississippi River road bridge south of the Missouri River) Road on top, rail below. Both in use today but Metrolink is the operator for the rail.

McKinley Bridge- Illinois Terminal with road and rail on the same level. Road only today

Merchants Bridge- Rail only, Double track. should be getting a makeover in a few years
Mike Sypult Any other aerials from this collection that might show Relay Junction?
David commented on Mike's comment on David's post
David Cantrell No direct fly over of Relay Junction but it can be seen in distance from this one.
Scott Nauert posted
Southbound rock empty approaching Lesperance Yard in St. Louis this afternoon. -Scott
[The UP MoW train is on a MoPac route. The coal train in the background is going over the bridge.]

I used this street view to confirm the above photo is of the approach to MacArthur Bridge.
Street View

FRA paying half of $14m upgrade of west approach.  "After the [approach] truss is replaced, the bridge will be able to accommodate movement of longer and wider dimensional rail cars, supporting the delivery of these manufactured goods and keeping them off the highway system. The resulting improved clearances will eliminate the need for a 317-mile re-route for dimensional loads." Given the length of the detour route, the Merchants Bridge evidently can't handle the larger freight cars either.

(new window)  (source)

(new window)  (source)  This video starts with the train still on the main part of the bridge.

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