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The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is a bridge under construction across the Mississippi River between St. Clair County, Illinois, and the city of St. Louis, Missouri. The structure will relieve traffic on nearby bridges — most importantly, the Poplar Street Bridge, which carries I-55, I-64, I-70, and US 40.
The cable-stayed bridge will have a main span of 1,500 feet (457 m). It will carry four mainline traffic lanes (half as many as originally planned), with room to add a lane in each direction. It is designed so that a companion bridge could be built beside it. When the bridge is complete, Interstate 70 will be re-routed, diverging from the current I-70 at Cass Avenue and connecting with the existing Interstate 55/Interstate 64/I-70 in East St. Louis. The remaining stretch of I-70 through downtown St. Louis will be redesignated Interstate 44.
In March 2011, the Missouri House of Representatives approved a proposal to change the name to “Jerry F. Costello-William Lacy ‘Bill’ Clay Sr. Veterans Memorial Bridge.” One month later, the Missouri Senate Transportation Committee rejected the change.
Some groups pushed for “Women Veterans Memorial Bridge.”
On January 22, 2013, a bill was introduced to name the bridge after Stan Musial, the former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player who had recently died. The measure required the approval of both houses of both the Illinois and Missouri legislatures. The measure received the first of two necessary approvals from the Missouri Senate on February 20, 2013.
The bridge was officially named the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge with the signature of President Barack Obama on July 12, 2013.
WHAT IS A CABLE STAYED BRIDGE?
The cable stayed concept was designed in the late 16th century, but has become very popular over the past few decades around the world.
With a cable stayed bridge, the cables support the bridge deck (the roadway) – these cables are connected to one or more
towers that are built in the middle of the bridge. To visualize this, imagine you are standing up with your arms out as straight as possible. Can you imagine how tired your muscles would get after just a little bit of this? Now, tie a piece of rope to each elbow and lay the rope over the top of your head. Then, have someone else tie a second piece of rope to each wrist and lay it over the top of your head. Now, your head and body is carrying the weight of your arms, and not your muscles. These ropes are like the cable stays of the bridge, and your body and head are acting like the towers that are built in the center of the bridge. Although the cables are thin, there are enough of them to help make the
bridge secure. This gives the bridge the same support as that of steel girders, but signifi cantly reduces the weight, and
The towers of cable stayed bridges can vary drastically. Some of them are a single vertical pole, while some look like giant “A”s, some look like huge rectangles, and some look like a diamond (the shape, not the stone). The tower design is based on the type of foundation, the length of the section between the towers, and a few other variables.
Because they are architecturally distinctive, as well as easier and cheaper to build, cable stayed bridges are quickly becoming the bridge of choice for engineers needing to span between 500 and 2,800 feet.