By Rachel Lippmann
St. Louis – Contractors interested in rebuilding the Grand Avenue viaduct in Midtown have submitted their bids to the city of St. Louis.
The $30 million rebuild of Grand from Chouteau to Interstate 64 is scheduled to start in late February or early March. It will be the city's biggest project, and shut down that stretch of Grand for a year.
"This bridge has served its useful purpose," said city streets director Todd Waelterman. "It was built in the late 50s and it's beyond its life, and it's in need of replacement. Just drive over it and you can see how rough it looks."
The replacement bridge, he said, will be much friendlier for pedestrians.
"We're going to have very wide sidewalks, 12 or 13 foot wide on each side," Waelterman said. "They're barely four foot wide, and we have the ugly Jersey barriers there protecting the pedestrians. This bridge will have separated road from the pedestrians with a wall so the pedestrians will have a safe way to pass."
The federal government is covering 80 percent of the project's cost, Waelterman said. And Metro, the transit agency, is spending $7 million to rebuild its bus and MetroLink stations at the viaduct. One of its busiest bus routes runs along Grand.