Eads Bridge Closed for 40 Days Beginning Monday

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The oldest (and first) major bridge to span the Mississippi River will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning Monday so workers can provide "preventative maintenance" to the structure's deck.

The bridge -- which was built in 1874 -- was reopen to cars just seven years ago after undergoing a $35-million renovation of its upper deck.

Kara Bowlin, spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay, tells Daily RFT that expansion joints on the bridge have not held up as well as engineers had hoped. City work crews, which are responsible maintaining the roadway atop the bridge, also plan to resurface the concrete deck during the closure instead of having to seal it lane-by-lane if applied when the bridge is open to traffic.

MetroLink, which has used the bridge since 1993, will not be impacted by the bridge work that is expected to last forty days. The bridge will also remain open to pedestrian use during the renovation. Drivers are encouraged to take the Poplar Street or Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge until work is concluded.

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