St. Louis Metro provides update on flood damage repair progress

Aug. 17, 2022
A two-mile stretch of the MetroLink system between Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station and Delmar Loop Station sustained the most significant damage to rail and signal infrastructure.

St. Louis Metro Transit provided an update regarding repairs made on its MetroLink system after it sustained damage following historic rainfall during a July 26 storm. The extreme weather event caused flooding after more than nine inches of rain fell in a 24-hour timeframe.

Shortly after the storm, the agency estimated damage to the system ranged between $18-$20 million, but in its most recent update, said only damage is “estimated to be in the millions of dollars.” Whatever the final price tag may be, the infrastructure tally is significant and includes:

  • Nearly five miles of damaged light-rail trackbed;
  • Total loss of one MetroLink train stranded at Delmar Loop Station, as well as the DeBaliviere MetroLink signal house;
  • Substantial damage was sustained to the MetroLink communications and fiber optics system;
  • MetroLink signal systems housed in two communication rooms and four signal houses all sustained substantial damage; and
  • Both station elevators at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station must be replaced.

The more significant damage is concentrated between MetroLink’s Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station and the Delmar Loop Station.

Within 72 hours of the storm, crews were able to perform trackbed repairs that allowed the Red Line to resume service. However, Red and Blue Line trains are unable to move through the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station because of the loss of the DeBaliviere signal house. The two lines meet at the station with the signal house playing a critical role in maintaining safe operations at the junction. Bus shuttles remain in place to transfer passengers between the two lines.

“We are devoting a lot of time and attention to clean and assess each piece of those highly sensitive and intricate electrical systems that was underwater to see what can be repaired and what components must be replaced with new equipment. It will be several months before we can fully restore MetroLink service on the Red and Blue Lines in the city of St. Louis City and in St. Louis County,” the transit agency explained.

St. Louis Metro continued that its main focus will be on making the transfer between the Blue Line and Red Line as seamless as it can be with a plan forthcoming on additional options.

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Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District (St. Louis Metro) (Metro)
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