The Eads Bridge was dedicated on July 4, 1874. 138 years later, we at Thomas Industrial Coatings, have been hired to give the bridge its first fresh coat of paint since the bridge was built.
Starting this May, we’ll be abating the bridge’s original lead coating, prepping its surface to SSPC SP-10 cleanliness standards and applying a three-coat industrial coating application comprised of zinc, epoxy and polysiloxane in order to help ensure the structural integrity of the steel-based Eads Bridge. The 530,000 square foot bridge painting project is slated to be finished Fall 2014.
The bridge was named after its designer and builder – James Buchanan Eads – who at the time of commissioning was the captain of the U.S. Engineer Corps. At its time of construction, the bridge was the longest of its kind (arch bridge) in the entire world. Now in the shadows of the St. Louis Arch, the Eads Bridge is considered by many to be the first iconic structure of St. Louis.
“The Eads Bridge is a St. Louis icon and every member of the Thomas Industrial Coatings family should be proud to be part of this historic refurbishment,” said Dane McGraw, the project’s General Manager.
The structure was the first large bridge to span the Mississippi River, and the first of its kind in the world to use alloy steel. It was the first to be built using cantilever support methods and one of the first to use pneumatic caissons as well.
Today, the bridge still stands, serving the city of St. Louis. The road deck has been restored, allowing car traffic and foot traffic, and the rail deck has been utilized by MetroLink since the early 1990s.