Local Ironworkers help shift Poplar Street Bridge nine feet

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HISTORIC MOVE: Members of Ironworkers Local 396 and 392 made history March 31 when they helped slide the Poplar Street Bridge nine feet south to make way for a new eastbound lane. It’s the second longest bridge slide in U.S. history. – Ironworkers Local 396 photo

It was the second longest bridge slide in U.S. history

Members of Ironworkers Local 396 and 392 made history March 31 when they helped pick up and move a 20-million pound section the Poplar Street Bridge nine feet to the south.

Crews shifted the four eastbound lanes on the bridge to make room for a fifth eastbound lane. It’s all part of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) $54 million project designed to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and extend the life of the bridge.

According to MoDOT, the shift of the 2,165-foot-long section of roadway is the second longest bridge slide in U.S. history. The top record-holder is the 2,427-foot replacement bridge built in 2014 across the Ohio River between Milton, KY, and Madison, IN.

MoDOT officials say they chose the relatively unusual method because it was less expensive than adding a new eastbound lane on the right and would make the bridge stronger by tying its two separate spans together.

The Poplar Street Bridge, which opened in 1967, is just under a half mile long and connects St. Louis and East St. Louis, IL, across the Mississippi River. The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

(Some information from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)

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