Oldest Mississippi River railroad bridge to be rebuilt

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The oldest railroad bridge over the Mississippi River is going to be rebuilt, despite the loss of a federal grant that would have helped fund it.

The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis announced Tuesday that it’s moving forward with a $172 million contract with Walsh Construction Co. to rebuild the Merchants Bridge, which opened in 1890.

The bridge faced the potential of being shut down if not rebuilt in the near future. The project was put in doubt last month when the federal government denied a grant covering one-third of the costs. But further delays could have resulted in higher steel prices.

Bridge officials have agreed to finance the four-year project through Bank of America Merrill Lynch and will recoup costs through fees charged to its users.

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