MacArthur Bridge "St Louis" "light painting" "night photography" "art photography" "long exposure photography" urban ruins

Alleys & Ruins no. 131, MacArthur Bridge (2009, St Louis, MO, 12:45am

Alleys & Ruins no. 131, MacArthur Bridge (2009, St Louis, MO, 12:45am

 

A short behind-the-scenes video is available here.

 

The MacArthur Bridge connects St Louis to East St Louis across the Mississippi River. The 100 year-old bridge towers over the industrial south side of St Louis, where this was shot and meanders through the run-down buildings in the area.


The Bridge opened in 1917 to great fanfare as it was the first area bridge to not charge a toll to cross the river. Toll price gouging had been an ongoing problem.


Once part of Route 66, it was one of the longest bridges in the world at the time, and had a unique double decker structure for cars and trains. Its sheer size and length made it an awe-inspiring, engineering marvel.


Despite its popularity it was also wildly dangerous. The car deck had a sharp turn where it met the bridge trusses. Faster vehicles would often crash through the railing and plummet a hundred feet.

 

A new bridge in 1967 siphoned all the traffic. In 1981 the upper deck was permanently closed to vehicles and is being dismantled. The rail part of the bridge continues to operate.

 

I had been to this spot by the bridge a few times over the years, and in fact shot it from this vantage point in 2008, but was not happy with the results. I couldn’t let this majestic tribute to rust just sit there, so in 2009 while in St Louis, I revisited the location.

 

The top, abandoned car deck was rusted through – the decay being so severe in parts that a car (or a person) would just drop through. 


On the lower level, which still allows trains to chug through it, you can see a white light trail on the left, as a train rolled through right when the exposure was ending – one of the very few times I’ve allowed a light trail (other than stars) in my alley images.

 

In 2010 I met an engineer commissioned to study and report on demolishing the bridge. Its fate, he told me, was up in the air. But in 2016 I re-visited the bridge and saw they were slowly dismantling the upper car deck. Trains continue to roll through.

 

  • ALL SHIPPING IS FREE

     

    FINISHES
    Our unique and vibrant photographs will add depth and stunning color to any home, office or public space. They are offered in two main finishes

     

    1. Metal float mount
    Our Metal prints have a magical luminescence. Their vibrant, saturated colors jump off the wall, and will last for generations. They are created by infusing dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets making them incredibly durable and scratch resistant. The finished piece is float mounted, so they float one inch off the wall.

     

    2. Archival prints
    We print on premium quality Sunset eSatin paper, using archival Ultrachrome inks for incredible endurance and color saturation. These prints will last for generations.

    11x14 and 16x20 sizes are available with or without a window mat. If you are unsure which is best for you, feel free to contact us. Most clients seem to purchase without the window mat.

     

    Prints larger than 16X20 are available as full-frame prints, without a white border or a window mat. If you want a white border, just let us know!


    CUSTOM SIZES
    If you have a specific size requirement, that's no problem! Maybe the perfect size is somewhere between two of the sizes in the drop down list. In that case, the price would be the proportional difference. We’ve also stretched and cropped pieces for customers to fit precise spaces. Give us the dimensions and we'll email you image options for you to choose from. There is no charge for the extra labor in custom sizing pieces.

     

    LIMITED EDITIONS
    Metal prints in the following sizes include a Certificate of Authenticity, which will be mailed to you:

    48X65 or 48X72: edition of 15

    43X57 or 40X60: edition of 25

    32X40 or 30X45: edition of 50

    24X30 or 22X33: edition of 100

    16X20 or 16X24: edition of 200


    GUARANTEE
    We want you to be happy with your art purchase. If a piece arrives damaged or defective, please contact us and a replacement will be shipped. All of my finished pieces are created using the highest quality archival processes. They come with a lifetime guarantee against fading or color shift.

$49.00Price
Finish
Size

Subscribe to my VIP Monthly Newsletter

Be the first to view new work, receive current updates, promotions and Flash Sales!

Search nuez.com

Questions?

Xavier Nuez

319 N. Albany Ave, Studio 1N5

Chicago, IL 60640

510-648-6810

© Xavier Nuez, 2021

Music by the brilliant Ketsa. Visit ketsa.uk