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Oldest Mississippi River railroad bridge to be rebuilt

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The oldest railroad bridge over the Mississippi River is going to be rebuilt, despite the loss of a federal grant that would have helped pay for it.

The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis announced on Tuesday that it’s moving forward with a $172 million contract with Walsh Construction Co. to rebuild the Merchants Bridge, which opened in 1890.

The bridge was at risk of being shut down if it wasn’t rebuilt in the near future. The project was put in doubt last month when the federal government denied a grant covering one-third of the costs. But further delays could have given inflation time to push steel prices higher.

Bridge officials have agreed to finance the four-year project through Bank of America Merrill Lynch and will recoup the costs through fees charged to its users.

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