Breezy stroll on Route 66s most famous bridge

May 25, 2007


This bridge was once the point at which Route 66 crossed the Mississippi River at St. Louis. Now there is a picnic table near the middle and the closest you can get to being run over is by a short-sighted cyclist.

This is the Chain of Rocks Bridge named for a seven-mile stretch of rocks under the water stretching north of St. Louis which once carried cars and trucks over the river on their way east or west.

Built in 1929 as a toll bridge, it is roughly 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) in length and has a 22-degree in the middle of the river to enable navigation. From the late 1930s until the completion of the New Chain of Rocks Bridge just a little further upriver for Interstate 270, this bridge carried all Route 66 traffic.

It was closed in 1967 and its fate remained uncertain until 1998 when it began to be used for hiking and biking trails. Apart from the picnic bench, there is also a marker to indicate the Missouri-Illinois state line in the middle of the bridge.

It is an odd experience walking across this bridge, which is just wide enough for two lanes of traffic. This was once a highway, part of Route 66 and to walk on it now seems slightly out of place. Though probably that feeling goes away if you hike or bike here regularly.

It is also an exposed walk across the water, so if its a windy day youll certainly feel it, especially on a bike.

One comment

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Er, I think this item was double-posted.

Posted by Andrew | Report as abusive