Notice to Navigators: Upper Mississippi River

RIAC: Merchants Bridge Closure 4 MAR  UM183


At UM183, Merchants bridge, the Main channel (IL side) and middle spans are closed this morning while the contractor positions the new middle span for lifting, gets it attached to the lifting rigs, and raises the new span clear of the barges it was assembled on.

Best guess for now is midafternoon for the new span to be clear of the barges and it will be safe to reopen the main span to traffic. I will send an update about 1130 this morning.


The total time to raise the new span to its piers is six to ten hours, once it is resting on the new piers the middle span can be reopened to traffic.


Interesting fact for the day: the old bridge weighed 3 million pounds, the new one weighs 9 million pounds. The new span allows two trains to be on the two tracks that cross the bridge at the same time.


Some background on the Merchants bridge project below and a couple pictures from yesterday morning attached. Perspective from a down bound tow.


We’ll need to do this one more time when the span on the Missouri side is swapped out, wag JUL.


Bernie Heroff
Port Captain Navigation/Training
ARTCo – Ag Services and Oilseeds
American River Transportation Co., LLC
P.O. Box 2889
Saint Louis, MO 63111
t 314 481 8828 / m 314 803 4644