6/9/09 - Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge, Route 66, Illinois. Revisited.
The Chain of Rocks Bridge spans the Mississippi River on the north edge of St. Louis, Missouri with the eastern end of the bridge on Chouteau Island, (part of Madison, Illinois). It was completed in 1929 and shortened travel time between St. Louis and Madison. It is a cantilever through-truss and one of the longest continuous steel truss bridges in the country at 5,353 feet long. One of the most distinctive features of the Chain of Rocks Bridge is the 22-degree bend in the middle, which allowed southbound riverboats to align with the current, slip between the Bridge's piers and avoid crashing into two water intake towers midstream just south of the bridge. The Chain of Rocks Bridge became a part of Route 66 in 1936 and was used until 1968 until the opening of the toll-free I-270 bridges caused a decline in traffic. It now carries walking and biking trails over the river was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The bridge's name comes from a rock-ledged reach of river literally described as a chain of rocks, stretching for seven miles immediately to the north of the city of St. Louis.
Back in 2008 I visited The Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge on the St. Louis side. The neighborhood wasn't great and there was no parking with the exception of the side of the road. Needless to say, I did not get much time there. This trip I approached it from the Illinois side. Plenty of parking in a good area. Fortunately, I had my bicycle with me and I was able to ride across the entire bridge into St. Louis and back into Illinois.