Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grand Viaduct, Styrofoam and Bad Decisions

As I remarked recently, for some St. Louisans, this will be the third Grand Viaduct over Mill Creek in their lifetimes. Let us hope it is the last. I still can't believe they tore down the old one; august and massive, it was our own Brooklyn Bridge, right in the heart of the city. But alas, as you can see at 3:34 in this old movie, it fell victim to "progress."
Now sixty or so years later, I was driving on the exit ramp under the new bridge, and spotted these large white monoliths. I finally realized they were huge blocks of styrofoam, which are also being used in the filling of the old Tucker Tunnel downtown. I even glimpsed some of the old masonry for the original bridge, but I was not able to photograph before it was covered by new construction.
Regardless of the cost of revamping the original bridge, I can't imagine it being more than the cost of building two new bridges in its place in as many generations.

1 comment:

  1. Tom Maher - KirkwoodFebruary 21, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    I saw part of the old bridge coming down! I was a freshman at SLU. That was sure a beautiful relic of the Industrial Age - but sadly neglected with the tremendous amount of maintenance it needed.
    I had not realized that part of the original 1889 masonry was in the 1960 bridge, let alone the new one!

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A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.