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Money approved for new bridge in St. Louis County

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Old Gravois Road bridge

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo. – A new bridge across the Meramec River in south St. Louis County is closer to construction, now that planners have approved funding for it.

The $6 million bridge will replace the Old Gravois Road Bridge, which was closed in August for safety reasons.

The span connects Fenton with Sunset Hills and isn't too far from a bigger bridge that takes the current Gravois Road across the river.

Still, Fenton Mayor Dennis Hancock says the Old Gravois Road Bridge is needed and could draw as many as 20,000 cars and trucks a day. Just before it closed, when a 5-ton weight limit was imposed, the old bridge was drawing about 10,000 a day.

"It is critical to the city's economic well-being," Hancock said, in an interview. "It serves as a major feeder into our Old Town area in Fenton, which we are in the process of redeveloping."

Most of the money approved last week is from the federal government ($4.7 million), but St. Louis County ($1 million) and the city of Fenton ($500,000) also will each contribute. Hancock says he hopes the new bridge opens by the end of 2009.

The old bridge was built in 1925. The new bridge will be a two-lane "no-frills" bridge, according to Hancock, though it will also include a pedestrian lane.

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