Building a bridge from the river bottom up -

Building a bridge from the river bottom up

I saw something today I don't anticipate ever seeing again... A construction crew working on the floor of the Mississippi River.  Wild.

They're inside what will be the pier on the Missouri side of the future Mississippi River Bridge a couple miles north of downtown St. Louis.

The project got behind because of all the flooding last spring and summer, but two 10-hour shifts a day, six days a week got the $667-million project back on time and it's still on budget according to MODOT's Greg Horn, the project manager.

We walked on a narrow bridge about the length of a football field, hundreds of feet above the river to get to this pier thing.  I'm not a guy who loves heights.  Neither was my colleague with the camera, Steve but we persevered.

For safety we wore hardhats, safety goggles and a bright yellow and orange MODOT vest UNDERNEATH a red life jacket.  I wish I'd have had the presense of mind to have a picture taken of me in that get-up but holding on to the rails high above the MIssissippi River was was all I could do not to lose my Denny's Grand Slam I had a couple hours before.

We got our video, snapped some pictures on my smart phone (just for you) and our interview and got the heck out of there... slowly of course.  We got to traverse that narrow bridge again in the mist and drizzle.

As we shed all our safety gear and handed to a MODOT guy, he said, "See you next time when we'll be able to go up even higher." We said with a laugh, "No you won't." 

Someone else will get to cover that.

Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.  He can be reached at

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