Route 66 River Bridge, Eureka
St. Louis County
The Route 66 Bridge over the Meramec in Southwest St. Louis County was constructed in 1932 and is known as a Warren deck truss bridge, of which only three other examples remain in Missouri. Route 66’s passage across the Meramec River was heavily promoted as a tourist attraction due to the river itself, as well as the adjacent working class resort community known as Times Beach. Although major highway traffic is now carried over the Meramec by the Interstate 44 Bridge, the Route 66 Bridge was incorporated into the boundaries of Route 66 State Park, which opened in 1999. Being one of the most visited State Parks in Missouri at around 250,000 visitors per year, park attendance has dropped since the bridge’s closing to vehicular traffic in October 2009. There is strong support from a number of local and statewide groups to preserve this bridge. The preference of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) appears to be the removal of the bridge unless another party assumes ownership and rehabilitation responsibilities.
Listed in 2010 and 2011 and as watched properties in 2012 and 2013 under the category “Bridges of Missouri”and by itself in 2014, watched in 2015 and again on the regular list in 2016.
Update: The Route 66 Bridge received a grant in 2011 from the National Trust to perform a feasibility study. Since then, the group has gotten another grant from the National Park Service to perform an historic structures report. The State Department of Transportation has been supportive of their efforts.
Update: Follow the story of this bridge on savethisbridge.org