(Otherwise known as The Big-A$$ Old Bridge With The Bend In The Middle That Scared My Brudda Half To Death Whenever My Dad Drove Us Over It…)
To me, while the Arch was termed The Gateway To The West, the CoRB was always The Gateway To The East. Looking off to the north, Wood River, Alton, Roxana—oil refineries, steel mills, miles of electric transmission lines, lock-and-dams. Now it’s called The Rust Belt, but whatever name it goes by, it started here.
It wasn’t until long after it closed that I found out that US-66 used it. When I was a kid, there wasn’t a nostalgia industry—66 was still extant! And I don’t need the “Mother Road” jazz to make the CoRB special to me…this bridge and I have a history all to ourselves…
This view gives you an idea of how severe the bend is. The east end of the bridge was built in a manner so the distance between the bridge piers over the old river navigation channel could be as wide as possible. And the kink actually made the total bridge length as short as possible. Something had to give. As the noted civil engineer David Lee Roth explained,“Compromise makes two people unhappy.”
Looking south. The rapids are the “Chain of Rocks”. A dam of sorts—a geological feature enhanced by the hand of man, to discourage possible attempts at navigating this part of the river.
By the time the I-270 bridge in the background was built, a new dam/lock/navigation channel had been dredged to the east, the Chain Of Rocks Canal. Therefore, the I-270 bridge didn’t need to consider navigation when its piers were built.
One of the water intakes for the City of St. Louis Waterworks.
The bend. Speed Limit? Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?
As a highway, it’s a good bike-path (!)
The other water intake. The lack of continuity of design leads me to believe they are of two different vintages.
Pretty little tax deductions…