St. Louis is now home to nine bridges

February 6, 2014 

Here's a snapshot of the bridges of the St. Louis region:

* The Clark Bridge connects Alton to West Alton, Mo. It was completed in 1994 at a cost of $85 million to replace a bridge of the same name that was opened in 1928. The original Clark Bridge was of a truss design and was only 20 feet wide, carrying two lanes of traffic. The new span is a cable stayed bridge that is 108 feet wide. It has four lanes for motor vehicle traffic and two bicycle lanes.

* The Chain of Rocks Bridge connects Madison County to north St. Louis County. Also known as the I-270 bridge, it was a replacement of an earlier bridge. The first Chain of Rocks Bridge was built for $3 million in 1929 as a toll bridge and was noteworthy because of a sharp bend in the span over the middle of the Mississippi River. The new bridge was completed in 1966, eventually causing the old Chain of Rocks bridge to be closed in February 1970. The original bridge still stands and was opened to pedestrians and bicyclists in 1998.

* The McKinley Bridge was opened in 1910 for both car and railroad traffic and connects Venice to downtown St. Louis. Railroad lines at one point had use of two middle lanes and two lanes built outside of the bridge trusses carried cars and trucks. In 1978, railroad traffic was discontinued on the bridge and all four lanes were opened to auto traffic. Motorists still could travel on the outside lanes, but the bridge deteriorated by the 1990s to the point that motorists could see the Mississippi River through holes in the deck. It closed in 2001 and, after extensive renovation, was reopened in 2008.

* The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is set to open to traffic on Sunday. Construction started four years ago in February 2010. The bridge and the roads leading to it were built at a cost of $695 million. It will carry Interstate 70 across the Mississippi River.

* The Martin Luther King Bridge was opened in 1951, originally named the Veterans Memorial Bridge. It connects East St. Louis to mid-downtown St. Louis. Owned by the city of East St. Louis, it was a toll bridge until 1987 when a $24 million renovation rehabbed the span. It was reopened in 1989 as a free crossing.

* The Eads Bridge was the first bridge in the world to be built with steel as a primary material. Connecting East St. Louis to downtown St. Louis, it opened in 1874. The bridge originally carried rail and pedestrian traffic. Railroads abandoned the bridge in 1974. Later, its lower railroad level was put to use as the Mississippi River crossing for the MetroLink light-rail system.

* The Popular Street Bridge is a pair of four-lane bridges that carry Interstates 44, 55, 64 and -- until the opening of the Stan Musial Veteran's Memorial Bridge -- Interstate 70 across the Mississippi River in the southern part of downtown St. Louis. Officially known as the Congressman William L. Clay Sr. Bridge, formerly the Bernard F. Dickmann Bridge, it opened in 1967 and is the second-most heavily traveled bridge over the Mississippi with more than 120,000 cars crossing it a day. Only the Dartmouth Bridge, which carries Interstate 94 over the river in Minneapolis carries more traffic.

* The MacArthur Bridge was built between 1909 and 1917 as a double-decker bridge that would carry motor vehicle traffic on the top level and railroad traffic on the lower deck. It connected Seventh Street and Chouteau Avenue in South St. Louis to South 10th Street and Piggott Avenue in East St. Louis. The bridge, which was the site of several fatal accidents on its s-curved Illinois side ramp, was closed to car and truck traffic in 1981 and parts of the upper level as well as the approach ramps were demolished when $6 million couldn't be found to pay for needed repairs. The bridge is still used for railroad traffic.

* The Jefferson Barracks Bridge, or J.B. Bridge, is actually two bridges built side by side with one handling eastbound traffic and the other serving westbound motorists. It is the southernmost bridge over the Mississippi River in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The northern span was built in 1983 while the southern bridge was built in 1992. The twin bridges replaced a steel truss bridge of the same name built in 1941.

Click below to navigate the new bridge

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