Metro-East News

McKinley Bridge reopened after tractor-trailer crash

The McKinley Bridge was shut down for about two hours Thursday morning because of a truck crash.

The collision, which happened at about 9:15 a.m., involved an overturned tractor-trailer, according to the St. Louis Fire Department.

Firefighters said the bridge had to be temporarily closed to allow for cleanup and inspection before it could be reopened to traffic.

The structure had to be inspected because metal from the tractor-trailer’s skin was wrapped around girders that make up the bridge’s support trusses.

Emergency workers urged motorists to find an alternate route across the Mississippi River.

The fire department reported that two vehicles were involved in the crash and the occupants of the vehicles suffered minor injuries. Treatment was refused at the scene.

The McKinley Bridge, which at one time carried Route 66 over the Mississippi, was built in 1910 to handle both railroad and vehicular traffic.

It was taken out of service in 2001 and remained closed while massive repairs were made. It reopened to traffic in late 2007.

According to Illinois Department of Transportation figures, as of 2014 it carried about 17,000 cars across the river a day.

The bridge was closed for several hours Jan. 28 by another accident involving a semi truck.