The 133-year-old Merchants Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River at St. Louis and links Missouri and Illinois, officially reopened to rail traffic Sept. 15, following completion of a $222 million replacement project. Owned and operated by the Terminal Railroad Association (TRRA), the bridge serves six Class I railroads and Amtrak.
St. Louis Regional Freightway
The St. Louis Regional Freightway’s 2022 Priority Projects List features 21 projects worth $2.75 billion that “represent key infrastructure needs of the manufacturing and logistics industries in the Eastern Missouri and Southwestern Illinois area.” Many are rail-specific or rail-related. The most important is a major project to replace the Merchants Memorial Mississippi Rail Bridge, constructed in 1889.
The St. Louis region relies heavily on its Norfolk Southern- and CSX-served rail connection with the Port of Virginia, hundreds of miles away on the East Coast, to maintain its position “as one of the premier multimodal freight hubs and distribution centers in the United States.” The relationship was discussed in detail during the FreightWeekSTL 2021 conference, hosted by Bi-State Development, which operates the St. Louis Regional Freightway.
The St. Louis Regional Freightway and the Port of Savannah are forging a partnership to create a new connection between the St. Louis, Mo., region and what aims to be “the largest single-terminal container facility in the western hemisphere.”