HELP US SAVE THE ROUTE 66 MERAMEC RIVER BRIDGE!
The appeal below is from Ruth Keenoy of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis.
Route 66 is one of the most iconic roads in the world and we are lucky in Missouri to have the Route 66 State Park, which holds the Route 66 Meramec River (Times Beach) Bridge, constructed in 1931-32.
The bridge is one of the most visited stops along the nation’s entire Route 66 corridor.
The bridge has a Warren deck truss, which is a rare property type in Missouri. The state has only three (including the Route 66 bridge) examples left. The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2009 the bridge was closed and the following year, 2010, was listed on Missouri’s statewide list of endangered historic places.
In January 2016, Missouri State Parks agreed to take over ownership of the bridge but requires an endowment to help fund the bridge’s preservation and rehabilitation as a bicycle / pedestrian crossing.
If we cannot raise $575,000 by the end of 2016 to support this effort, the bridge will be demolished in early 2017.
We Need Your Help! Please contribute today by checking out our GoFundMe campaign at: https://www.gofundme.com/meramec-66-bridge or make a donation by mailing a check to Landmarks Association of St. Louis (fiscal agent for the bridge), 911 Washington Avenue, Suite 170, St. Louis, MO 63101.
We accept pledges from major donors.
For more information, contact Ruth Keenoy at 314-637-6441 (firstname.lastname@example.org). All contributions are tax-deductible.
The extended text below is also from Ruth Keenoy of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis.
Route 66 is one of the most iconic roads in the world. The “Mother Road,” as it is called, was one of the first of America’s new highways that proliferated in the 1920s. It was purportedly the shortest direct route from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast. Although officially decommissioned in 1981, the highway continues to draw huge numbers of national and international tourists for its unique sense of history and place. A conservative total aggregate of money spent by all Route 66 tourists is about $38 million annually. In addition to the $38 million in tourism spending, it is estimated that there is an additional $67 million in Main Street spending and $27 million in museum spending, making the total annual investment in Route 66 $132 million.
All of the states that support Route 66 share in the great economic boon of heritage tourism and the economies that are bolstered along the highway’s path. We are lucky in Missouri to have the Route 66 State Park. Located in St. Louis County, the park boasted an attendance last year of 216,432 – making it one of the most visited stops along the entire Route. Within the park is the Meramec River Route 66 Bridge. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, the bridge is a rare property type –one of three similarly designed bridges in Missouri, featuring a Warren deck truss fabricated by Stupp Bros. Bridge & Iron Company of St. Louis in 1931.
In 2009, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) found the bridge deficient. Because the bridge is no longer part of the state’s highway system, it was closed and slated for demolition. A group of stakeholders organized in 2010 to save the bridge from demolition. MoDOT agreed to use part of the funds earmarked for demolition to remove the bridge’s concrete decking, eliminating further damage caused by the heavy surface and buying some time to find a new owner for the bridge. In early 2016, Missouri State Parks agreed to accept ownership of the bridge but in doing so requires an endowment, the $575,000 mentioned above, by the end of 2016 to support this effort, the bridge will be demolished in early 2017.
Other resources on the issue:
Facebook page for Save the Meramec River Route 66 Bridge
National Park Service info on the Route 66 bridge over the Meramec
Wikipedia article on Route 66 State Park
Article from the Rolla Daily News on saving the bridge
Information about the bridge from MoDOT
See web page about SCHS presentation by Joe Sonderman on Route 66 in St Louis.