Launch Slideshow

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge

  • St. Louis tourists on the Tom Sawyer riverboat get a unique look at the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial bridge rising from the Mississippi River in August 2011.

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    St. Louis tourists on the Tom Sawyer riverboat get a unique look at the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial bridge rising from the Mississippi River in August 2011.

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    Missouri and Illinois depts. of transportation

    St. Louis tourists on the Tom Sawyer riverboat get a unique look at the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial bridge rising from the Mississippi River in August 2011.
  • Inside the coffer dam. A crew places concrete as its pumped into the heavily reinforced bridge foundation on the Missouri side in March 2011.

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    Inside the coffer dam. A crew places concrete as its pumped into the heavily reinforced bridge foundation on the Missouri side in March 2011.

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    Missouri and Illinois departments of transportation

    Inside the coffer dam. A crew places concrete as it’s pumped into the heavily reinforced bridge foundation on the Missouri side in March 2011.
  • A Riley Illinois truck unloads concrete onto the contractor's barge to be delivered by crane and bucket to its destination.

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    A Riley Illinois truck unloads concrete onto the contractor's barge to be delivered by crane and bucket to its destination.

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    Missouri and Illinois depts. of transportation

    A Riley Illinois truck unloads concrete onto the contractor's barge to be delivered by crane and bucket to its destination.
  • A crew sets the bridges final edge girders.

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    A crew sets the bridges final edge girders.

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    Missouri and Illinois departments of transportation

    A crew sets the bridge’s final edge girders.
  • MTA places the final steel floor beam for the new bridge across the Mississippi River.

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    MTA places the final steel floor beam for the new bridge across the Mississippi River.

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    Missouri and Illinois depts. of transportation

    MTA places the final steel floor beam for the new bridge across the Mississippi River.
  • St. Louis-based Breckenridge Material Co. placed the 2,700-foot median barrier on the bridge deck.

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    St. Louis-based Breckenridge Material Co. placed the 2,700-foot median barrier on the bridge deck.

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    Missouri and Illinois depts. of transportation

    St. Louis-based Breckenridge Material Co. placed the 2,700-foot median barrier on the bridge deck.
  • The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge opened in St. Louis on Feb. 9. The 2,900-foot bridge, with a main span of 1,500 feet, is the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the U.S.

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    The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge opened in St. Louis on Feb. 9. The 2,900-foot bridge, with a main span of 1,500 feet, is the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the U.S.

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    Missouri and Illinois depts. of transportation

    The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge opened in St. Louis on Feb. 9. The 2,900-foot bridge, with a main span of 1,500 feet, is the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the U.S.
  • A 10-inch-thick, 13 x 43.5-foot reinforced precast panel is lifted and placed for the bridge deck. XL Contracting of St. Peters, Mo., fabricated the panels.

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    A 10-inch-thick, 13 x 43.5-foot reinforced precast panel is lifted and placed for the bridge deck. XL Contracting of St. Peters, Mo., fabricated the panels.

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    Missouri and Illinois departments of transportation

    A 10-inch-thick, 13 x 43.5-foot reinforced precast panel is lifted and placed for the bridge deck. XL Contracting of St. Peters, Mo., fabricated the panels.
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    Jay Riley

    A Riley Illinois ready-mix truck makes a delivery at the jobsite.
  • A crane lifts the steel structure of an Osterberg cell, used to test the concrete foundations of the bridge. MTA placed four cells into shafts that were drilled in solid rock beneath the Mississippi River.

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    A crane lifts the steel structure of an Osterberg cell, used to test the concrete foundations of the bridge. MTA placed four cells into shafts that were drilled in solid rock beneath the Mississippi River.

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    Missouri and Illinois departments of transportation

    A crane lifts the steel structure of an Osterberg cell, used to test the concrete foundations of the bridge. MTA placed four cells into shafts that were drilled in solid rock beneath the Mississippi River.
  • Mississippi River Bridge Project

    At both tower legs, a tie solution was converted to a tieless solution resulting in Doka designing and installing W16 walers running vertically along the Top 50 gangs. Both SKE 100 and SKE 50 were incorporated for the tower legs, along with Framax Xlife forms for the interior core of the legs and Top 50 for the exterior.

    http://www.pwmag.com/Images/bridge-towerlegs_tcm111-2143825.jpg

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    At both tower legs, a tie solution was converted to a tieless solution resulting in Doka designing and installing W16 walers running vertically along the Top 50 gangs. Both SKE 100 and SKE 50 were incorporated for the tower legs, along with Framax Xlife forms for the interior core of the legs and Top 50 for the exterior.

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    Doka

    At both tower legs, a tie solution was converted to a tieless solution resulting in Doka designing and installing W16 walers running vertically along the Top 50 gangs. Both SKE 100 and SKE 50 were incorporated for the tower legs, along with Framax Xlife forms for the interior core of the legs and Top 50 for the exterior.
  • http://www.pwmag.com/Images/224910174_bridge-horseys_tcm111-2144154.jpg

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    Missouri & Illinois Depts. of Transportation

    A team of Budweiser Clydesdale horses led a ceremonial first crossing.

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    Missouri & Illinois Depts. of Transportation

    The bridge officially opened near downtown St.Louis over an icy Mississippi River.

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    Missouri & Illinois Depts. of Transportation

    With spotlights and reflective paint that enhance its nighttime profile, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge not only offers a stunning new view of downtown St. Louis, but claims its rightful place in the city skyline.
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    Missouri & Illinois Depts. of Transportation

    The public was invited to view and walk on the bridge a day before it was open to traffic. Activities included a 6K run, timed bike trials, and a ribbon cutting.
  • http://www.pwmag.com/Images/753604965_bridge-reroute_tcm111-2144158.jpg

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    Missouri & Illinois Depts. of Transportation

    Construction was part of a plan to reroute a segment of Interstate 70. Previously, the interstate was one of three major highways crossing nearby Poplar Street Bridge.
  • http://www.pwmag.com/Images/1191294418_bridge-runners_tcm111-2144159.jpg

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    Missouri & Illinois Depts. of Transportation

    The public was invited to view and walk on the bridge a day before it was open to traffic. Activities included a 6K run, timed bike trials, and a ribbon cutting.
  • http://www.pwmag.com/Images/1982758919_bridge-sign_tcm111-2144160.jpg

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    Missouri & Illinois Depts. of Transportation

    The 2,800-foot Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge (with a main span of 1,500 feet) is the third-longest cable-stayed bridge in the U.S.

St. Louis recently became a more driver-friendly city, when a team of Budweiser Clydesdales led the grand opening of the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the U.S. The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge—known to locals as the Stan Span—is part of a project to alleviate traffic congestion by rerouting Interstate 70 off of the downtown Poplar Street Bridge, which held traffic from three interstates.

I-70 now crosses the Mississippi River between Missouri and Illinois on its own four-lane bridge. “Adding another access point on the river relieves gridlock and allows us to reconfigure the Poplar Street Bridge without crippling three interstates,” says Randy Hitt, Missouri DOT (MoDOT) engineer and project director.

On top of planning and building a new bridge, interstate projects involve a host of complicating factors. These include different state laws and construction specifications, budgeting, and management styles. As neighbors bordering the Mississippi River however, MoDOT and the Illinois DOT (IDOT) have a long-standing partnership.

The two agencies hold an annual Border Bridge meeting to coordinate maintenance of shared bridges and plan new projects. The agencies alternate responsibility for each new project, with the state responsible for building the project taking the lead on future maintenance.

In the case of the Stan Span, MoDOT coordinated design and construction and managed contracts. IDOT was responsible for roughly two-thirds of the funding because most of the roadwork falls on its side of the river. The agencies will split maintenance costs evenly.

Jointly funded portions of the project, including the bridge and its approaches on each side, were designed to MoDOT specifications, although IDOT oversaw construction in Illinois. “It’s easier for each state to oversee certain segments, to handle procurement, different regulatory agencies, and other state-specific logistics,” says Hitt. Union labor contracts required an equal number of workers from each state’s local union to work on the main bridge span.

Although the bridge is attracting the most attention, the I-70 segment relocation involved 37 separate projects, mostly completed in 2013. The bridge opened in February 2014 according to schedule, thanks, in part, to weekly construction meetings with project partners. “Everything has gone even more smoothly than we anticipated,” says Hitt.

Empowering project partners

From the beginning, MoDOT set out to expedite the design process. “Typically, a bridge of this magnitude would take two to three years,” says Hitt. “We told the designers we wanted it faster, since we were facing roughly $1.4 million in inflation costs each month that it wasn’t being built.”

Approximately 50 engineers from MoDOT and design firm HNTB; Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc., and various subcontract designers were co-located in a downtown St. Louis office along with a full-time FHWA representative to keep the process closely coordinated. Because the team had the authority to make decisions and get approvals on the spot, the project was designed in just 15 months. In a bi-state agreement, MoDOT and IDOT approved the cable-stayed design, which was the most economical option.

MoDOT’s Quality Assurance/Quality Control policy allowed the project contractor Massman, Traylor, Alberici (MTA) to take a hands-on approach to quality control. The contractor established protocols with MoDOT and performed all quality control testing and inspections, while MoDOT maintained responsibility for quality assurance. The agency and contractor met before each phase of work began to review the plan and identify potential issues.

Many DOTs are adopting this method out of necessity due to staff reductions, but the hands-on approach appeals to some contractors. “The QA/QC model helps us identify and address problems as they arise, and to be proactive,” says MTA Project Manager Tom Tavernaro.