Saving a Piece of Route 66 History.
A Link to the Past, a Path to the Future
Route 66 carried motorists more than 2,400 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. At its peak, the historic Meramec River Bridge transported millions of travelers as they journeyed across the State of Missouri on the Main Street of America. Refurbishing this historic bridge will preserve its legacy while providing new life and purpose.
The goal is to restore this historic structure while re-establishing the connection as part of the region’s larger greenway system. The revitalized bridge will reunite both sides of the Route 66 State Park and increase access to the visitor center for hikers, cyclists and boaters. The historically significant bridge, already an international attraction for Route 66 and architecture enthusiasts, could become a catalyst for future development of the site, creating a dynamic space for outdoor recreation.
Preserving, Restoring & Protecting
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 1,008-foot bridge evokes both engineering excellence and functional beauty. Completed in 1932, the bridge remains one of only a few Warren-Truss bridges in Missouri.
Preserving the Route 66 Meramec River Bridge comes with a sense of urgency. The life of the truss is estimated at just seven years. The bridge was originally set to be demolished in 2017 due to advanced deterioration, but Missouri State Parks took ownership of the bridge and earned it a temporary reprieve from the wrecking ball.
The opportunity now exists to restore the bridge as a connection for people walking and biking in Route 66 State Park. Additional funding is needed to protect the structure and create a lasting cultural asset.
An Architectural Beauty
Built by Frazier-Davis Construction Company in 1931 and 1932 with steel fabricated by Stupp Bros. Bridge & Iron Company, the Route 66 Meramec River Bridge is a rarity — one of only four Warren Trusses remaining in Missouri. Truss bridges use a triangular placement of beams to stiffen and strengthen the roadbed, with horizontal “chords” at the top and bottom connected by vertical posts and diagonals. James Warren and Theobald Manzani patented the Warren Truss in 1848, a design defined by its precise arrangement of the chords to create equilateral triangles. The Route 66 Meramec River Bridge consists of three spans and totals 1,008 feet in length, with a deck width of 30 feet wide. Evoking both engineering excellence and functional beauty, it is on the list of National Register of Historic Places and deserving of refurbishment to preserve its legacy while providing new life and purpose.
A renewed Route 66 Meramec River Bridge will immediately create a convenient east- west connection within the park, providing access to the trails and other natural resources on the 424 acres and also improving logistics for park staff. In addition, the dramatic typography around the site allows for impressive outlook and viewing opportunities.
The bridge will move forward the vision of connecting the park to the Meramec Greenway, which currently stretches from Sherman Beach in southwest St. Louis County along the river to Glencoe. Connecting Route 66 State Park and the Meramec Greenway will one day provide access to the 240-mile- long Ozark Trail, which stretches southwest through Missouri into Arkansas. Via the proposed plan, the new Route 66 Meramec River Bridge will act as a catalyst for the future development of the site, enabling a network of trails and greenways that connect people to their rivers, parks and communities.
We've partnered with Missouri State Parks and numerous other organizations to save the historic bridge spanning the Meramec River at Route 66 State Park in Eureka.
We serve as the financial repository and fiscal agent for the project, holding donated funds until they're needed.
Why Invest In the Route 66 Bridge?