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Chain of Rocks Bridge

Chain of Rocks Bridge

Chain of Rocks Bridge

Was on a road trip vacation and stopped to see the Chain of Rocks Bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Louis. Anyone know why it was built with a 22 degree kink? I did a Wikipedia search and only found a vague reference to the bridge being made that way to "facilitate navigation".

RE: Chain of Rocks Bridge

"facilitate navigation" = "let boats through"

RE: Chain of Rocks Bridge

From the map, it almost looks like the design was originally straight through and the eastern end was already built, and then, someone said, "oh sh*t, we need to make the western section go that way," and they then had to patch up the design with a kink.


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RE: Chain of Rocks Bridge

Technically the 'boats' that went through were fairly limited as the name of the bridge implies, there is a natural chain of rocks just downstream of the bridge making a natural barrier to the navigation.  In the 50s or 60s, the USACOE built a channel, Chain of Rocks Channel, just to the east of the Mississippi river to allow barge traffic to bypass the Chain of Rocks.

I'm from St. Louis and have spent much time on the bridge walking, running or biking.  

Also check out Historical Bridges of the Midwest on the internet.

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RE: Chain of Rocks Bridge

Is that bridge still open as a hiking/biking trail?

My wife and I were up there three years ago or so, and I'm pretty sure that's the bridge we looked at- the castle thingies look familiar.  Anyway, I was thinking it had asphalt piled up and all, and maybe even "no tresspassing" signs, but I may be remembering wrong.  Anyway, it didn't look like anyone went on it, and I didn't see any signs of a trail going across it.

RE: Chain of Rocks Bridge

I remember my Dad hated to cross that bridge in the early 60's.  I also remember the Chain of Rocks Amusement Park on the bluff above the bridge.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

RE: Chain of Rocks Bridge

Yes, the bridge is open for hiking. I was there a month ago.I walked to just past the midpoint, starting from the Illinois side.

RE: Chain of Rocks Bridge

I also remember the Chain of Rocks Amusement Park on the bluffs, our elementary school had their annual picnic there every year.

As a bridge engineer, it's certainly a nice bridge and it functions real well as a trail.

I've attended eagle watching events there sponsored by the Missouri Conservation Department complete with heated tents right on the bridge.

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