Trailnet, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of bike and nature trails, is working to preserve this St. Louis bridge. It will connect a network of bike/hike trails in Missouri and Illinois. At over a mile in length, the Chain of Rocks Bikeway will probably be designated as the longest bicycle and pedestrian bridge in the world.
The Chain of Rocks bridge opened in 1929 and charged a 5 cent toll. It is especially significant because it was the Route 66 bridge over the Mississippi and for its unusual 22 degree bend at the midpoint of the span. It has been closed since 1968 after the opening of the I-270 free bridge nearby. The structure is in remarkably good shape after all these years.
The span was opened in September 1996 for a one day "open house" to build support for the project. Over 500 came to preview great things to come. Several other successful similar events have drawn thousands since then. The first phase of the plan concentrated on structural and safety concerns to enable opening to the public in 1999. Future improvements would include parking, rest areas, lighting and improved connections to existing trails. There are no plans to paint the non-structural surface rust. The bridge is open weekends April - November, plus Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day. Special eagle watch events are held in the winter.
Trailnet has over 800 members who share the vision. The organization draws strength from broad based support in both Missouri and Illinois. They have demonstrated the ability to pull together the expertise, volunteers and resources to make trails and greenways happen. Join Trailnet to take part in this milestone effort.
Walk or Bike the Chain of Rocks Bridge
Come join the fun!
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St. Louis skyline,
click to see the Arch
Water intake towers
just to the south
Open house visitors,
Sept. 28, 1996
Join the organization that takes visions to reality.
For more information about the bridge project, area trails and Gateway Trailnet -
Gateway Trailnet Web page or by Email
3900 Reavis Barracks
St. Louis, MO 63125
Friends of the Chain of Rocks Bridge
Interested? Email Karlene McAllister
or call the Trailnet office.
For a look at what another city has done with a similar project, visit -
Chattanooga's Walnut Street Bridge for a description or Virtual Chattanooga for images
For the Route 66 "big picture," visit -
National Historic Route 66
For a great "rail-to-trail" virtual tour, visit - Interactive Katy Trail
For a searchable directory of St. Louis related web sites - The St. Louis Directory
Taking your bike on the bus or MetroLink -
More St. Louis and Missouri links on the - Potts' St. Louis Home Page
Content and all images copyright 1996-2001 by Jim Potts, Gateway Trailnet member
This page online 10/19/96, updated 3/10/01
This is not an official publication of Trailnet, Inc.