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Chouteau bridge in City reopens on Friday

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – After being closed for nearly two years, the Chouteau Avenue viaduct in south St. Louis will reopen on Friday.

Workers tore down the original, century-old structure and replaced it with a modern one.

MODOT engineer Deanna Venker says demolition work was tricky because the crumbly old concrete and metal bridge spanned train tracks owned by several different railroads.

"We had to work over railroads that were still in service, and it is a very long structure that we worked on," said Venker. "So we had different complications, and we had different utilities on this project that had to be accommodated at the same time. "

Venker says workers also found drums of hazardous waste buried near the bridge, and a special contractor had to remove them.

The bridge was MODOT's responsibility because Chouteau is a state road. Venker says the city of St. Louis plans to rebuild similar viaducts at Grand Avenue and Jefferson Avenue.

The bridge connects Chouteau to Vandeventer.