Old Chain of Rocks Bridge - Route 66 - At the Bend
Susan Rissi Tregoning
Photograph - Photography
Approaching the 30 degree bend on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge between Madison, Illinois, and St Louis, Missouri.
At only 24 feet wide, the bridge makes a wonderful hiking trail across the river, but I can't begin to imagine meeting an oncoming car at the bend. It's hard to believe that this bridge was one of the major Route 66 crossings from 1936 to 1965!
While the bridge was initially designed to be straight, river captains argued that bridge piers placed so close to the water intake towers, combined with the already dangerous rapids, would make it impossible for them to navigate large vessels and barges through here. Then it was discovered that there was insufficient solid bedrock to support the weight of the piers. So the only solution was to move the supports until solid bedrock was found. This placed a 30-degree bend in the bridge, easing the navigation around the bridge supports, but it sure didn't do any favors for the people driving on the bridge.
Copyright 2022 Susan Rissi Tregoning
June 29th, 2022
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