Bridgehunter.com, Bridgemapper.com, and The Bridgehunter's Chronicles are partnering to sponsor this year's Historic Bridge Conference. The 2009 and 2010 conferences explored the bridges of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania, while this year's event will feature bridges in St. Louis and Missouri.
St. Louis has a long history of bridge building, starting with the Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River, a National Historic Landmark. In modern times, St. Louis has been an unsung leader in historic bridge preservation, rehabilitating three major bridges (Eads, McKinley, and Old Chain of Rocks).
However, many other bridges are threatened with demolition or replacement. The Meramec River Bridge on Historic Route 66 has been closed to traffic and is in danger of demolition. In the southwest corner of Missouri, the Riverside Bridge at Ozark, Missouri, has also been threatened. The Historic Bridge Conference includes events at both of these endangered bridges.
Friday, Aug. 12
11 AM - Caravan tour of bridges in downtown St. Louis. [PDF of driving directions]
7 PM - Dinner with guest speakers at Veritas Cafe & Wine Bar, 1722 Clarkson Road in Chesterfield (cost: $25)
Saturday, Aug. 13
9 AM - Get-together at Route 66 State Park with discussion about how to save the Meramec River Bridge. [PDF of driving directions]
Mid-day - Visit the endangered Enoch's Knob Bridge in Franklin County
Mid-afternoon - VIsit the Devil's Elbow Bridge on Historic Route 66 near Waynesville
6 PM - Dinner and fundraiser for the Riverside Bridge at the Ozark Community Center, 1530 West Jackson Street, Ozark (cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door, see saveriversidebridge.com for details).
Sunday, Aug. 14
TBA - Drive to Kansas City, seeing bridges along the way.
Monday, Aug. 15
Return to St. Louis while stopping at more bridges.
If you'd like to attend all or part of the conference, contact James Baughn (email: webmaster [at-symbol] bridgehunter.com)