The bridge was built in 1931 and originally carried the famous "Route 66" which makes the bridge historically significant for association with this important US highway. Technologically, the bridge is also noteworthy as a multi-span riveted deck truss. The bridge also includes a series of deck plate girder approach spans.
In 2009, the bridge was closed to traffic including pedestrian traffic. This was followed by an announcement that the bridge was planned for demolition and that the bridge was unsafe. In reality, the bridge is not in bad overall condition and preservation of the bridge should be considered both feasible and cost effective. The truss superstructure and the concrete substructure appear to be in decent condition. In 2013, the deck was removed from the bridge, but the rest of the bridge was left standing. Despite this, the remainder of the bridge is slated for demolition. This would be a huge waste of money, history, and a potentially functional crossing. At the very least, the bridge should be left standing in its current condition as a historic ruin. However it would be much nicer to see the bridge restored with a new deck on it. Depending on the goal and budget, a new deck could be a full deck for vehicular traffic, or it could also be a less expensive narrow deck just for non-motorized traffic. The narrow deck would actually be interesting for pedestrians because if done right, it would allow users to see the trusses as they walked over the bridge, something not normally possible on a deck truss. If redecked and reopened, the bridge would reconnect a couple parks that exist on either side of the river.
There has been a fair amount of public support for preserving this bridge, and a Facebook group was even formed.
The previous bridge at this location was a pin-connected through truss called the Votaw Bridge.
Information and Findings From Missouri's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
Situated some two miles east of Eureka, this dramatic structure carries Interstate Highway 44 over the Meramec River. Featuring a rare riveted deck truss, the superstructure is supported high above the river by concrete piers and abutments. The design for this three-span bridge was completed in the spring of 1931 by engineers for the Missouri State Highway Department as part of the improvements being made on U.S. Highway 66. A contract for the bridge's fabrication and erection was let that July to the Frazier-Davis Construction Company. Using steel components rolled by the Illinois Steel Company of Chicago, the contractors erected the bridge in 1931-32 for $133,592.99.
Virtually unchanged since its completion, the Meramec River Bridge continues to carry traffic in western St. Louis County. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, numerous through and pony trusses were built on roads and highways throughout Missouri. Deck trusses-in which the roadway is carried by the truss's upper chords-were built far less often. Never very common, this truss type has suffered attrition throughout the state, until only seven deck trusses are now listed in Missouri's Structure Inventory and Appraisal list. Significantly, all are located on the state highway system and were built in the 1930s. An important crossing of the Meramec River on Route 66, this three-span truss is both historically and technologically noteworthy-a regionally important remnant of early highway construction in the state.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.
Original / Full Size Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.|
Mobile Optimized Gallery
|A collection of overview and detail photos. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem
(dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer
download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
© Copyright 2003-2018, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.