Keeping St. Louis Bridges Safe After Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Estimated read time 4 min read

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has got people worried all over the country, especially in places where bridges are really important for getting around and doing business, St. Louis is one of those places. The Mississippi River there is huge for moving cars and farm products around. With so many vehicles using the river’s bridges every day, folks are wondering if what happened in Baltimore could happen in St. Louis too.

Why the Mississippi River and Its Bridges Matter

The Mississippi River is super important because it’s busy with tugboats and barges carrying farm goods around. This matters a lot for farmers in the US. Commander Daniel Every from the U.S Coast Guard says that because it moves critical stuff like food and fertilizer.

St. Louis’ waterways are essential for moving goods within the country and to other nations. Ships come and go all the time, which happens alongside constant car traffic over Missouri and Illinois bridges. People worry about possible dangers to these important bridges. MoDOT Assistant Chief Engineer Eric Schroeter knows people are more worried after what happened in Baltimore.

He says St. Louis’ bridges are built following national standards and take into account things like their specific locations and the chance of barge crashes. They plan these bridges carefully with help from the Coast Guard and the Corps of Engineers to make sure they meet all transportation needs and safety measures.

Recent Incidents and Proactive Safety Measures

In summer 2022, there was an accident where a barge hit the Eads Bridge but thankfully, it didn’t cause major damage. The bridge was strong enough to handle it.

The bridge took the hit without getting damaged which shows that its and safety measures work. This event, with how quickly everyone, proves that our safety rules are strong and keep important bridges safe.

When we talk about keeping bridges safe, Caltrans’ Bart Ney talks about how modern bridges like the east part of the Bay Bridge are designed. They have this cool bumper system that takes up energy if something hits them, making these bridges some of the best examples of what engineers can do to lessen damage from big crashes.


IDOT and MoDOT’s Commitment to Bridge Safety

The Baltimore bridge collapse has made everyone look again at how strong and safe Missouri and Illinois’s bridges are. IDOT and MoDOT have promised once more that they’re totally dedicated to keeping their bridges as safe as possible.

Missouri’s Department of Transportation (MoDOT) sets high standards for the many bridges it manages. It looks after over 10,000 bridges, some crossing the Mississippi River. To keep these bridges safe and stop ship accidents, MoDOT works with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard. They check that each bridge meets national safety standards.

These agencies have to consider other dangers beyond boats and ships. They build the structures to endure nature’s power like ice and earthquakes since Missouri’s weather and location bring many challenges. Inspecting these bridges every two years is a key part of their plan to ensure they’re in good condition.

Moving Forward, Safety, Vigilance, and Public Confidence

The fall of the Francis Scott Key Bridge is a grim warning about what can happen to vital parts of our infrastructure, which we depend on daily for our lives and work.

Transportation leaders in the St. Louis region and other areas are actively working to make sure their bridges are safe. They stick to strict design rules, inspect regularly, and work with national agencies putting great effort into avoiding disasters. While experts dig deeper into what caused the Baltimore bridge to fall down, the findings will surely add to the nationwide push for better bridge safety. For locals and people who travel back and forth in St. Louis, they can take some comfort knowing that area and state transport authorities are looking out for bridge safety.

As we look forward, staying committed to keeping everyone safe, always being alert, and striving for better infrastructure will stay at the top of our list as essential for holding our communities together and supporting how we live.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

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