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Waller Bridge



Photo taken by James Baughn

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BH Photo #107118


Stone arch and steel stringer bridge over Terre Bleue Creek on Hillsboro Road
St. Francois County, Missouri
Open to traffic with a 15 ton weight limit
Future prospects
Built 1932 by the Works Progress Administration
- Works Progress Administration
From north to south:
Four stone arches
Two steel stringer spans resting on a center stone pier
Three stone arches
Length of largest span: 29.8 ft.
Total length: 203.0 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Ruth L. Waller Bridge (official name)
7 Stone Arches bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.92751, -90.47196   (decimal degrees)
37°55'39" N, 90°28'19" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/722190/4200786 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
French Village
Land survey
Survey #2107 (T. 37 N., R. 5 E.)
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
MONBI 13972 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 22608 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of December 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 49.6 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 12, 2018: New photos from John Christeson
  • April 14, 2014: New photo from John Christeson
  • July 28, 2011: New photos from John Christeson
  • April 30, 2005: Posted all new photos


  • John Christeson - john_christeson [at] yahoo [dot] com


Seven Stone Arches Bridge
Posted January 3, 2015, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Without reading each article, it looks like there may be more than one other "seven arch bridge".


Seven Stone Arches Bridge
Posted January 3, 2015, by William Blackwell (billyboy_375 [at] att [dot] net)

My grandfather, Charles Blackwell, built this bridge. At the time, a contest was held to name the bridge and my father, Earl Blackwell, won with the name Seven Stone Archway Bridge. The prize was five dollars, a richly sum for a nine year old during the depression. I visited the bridge today and was saddened to see the name Waller Bridge posted on the structure. Also, the bridge has been painted with highway yellow paint. Whoever is responsible for that should be tarred and feathered.

Seven Stone Arches Bridge
Posted May 10, 2013, by blasterrat (blasterrat [at] yahoo [dot] com)

My research indicates this is one of only two seven arch bridges in the World. The other I think is in Spain. That locals tired of a poor crossing to traverse while traveling to Farmington from North of the River,pooled together resources,some money others voluteered labor,and constructed the bridge. A replica of the other one I mention. Not certain where its at, but I recall reading about this somewhere and that both bridges are unique in design. That the first being somewhat reknown therefore this one built as a copy of it.

Seven Stone Arches Bridge
Posted April 10, 2010, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] netscape [dot] net)

It is said that the bridge was a WPA project. That's not possible as the WPA wasn't established until 1935 and the bridge was finished in 1932.

It could possibly have been a RFC project. Reconstruction Finance Corporation was started in 1932 during the Hoover administration. It seems that WPA is the default program that gets credit for anything that was done in the 1930s if no one remembers for certain.

Seven Stone Arches Bridge
Posted May 19, 2006, by Melanie Rickmar (Genea44 [at] JCN [dot] net)

Charles C. Blackwell planned and helped construct this bridge. His obituary:

LEAD BELT NEWS, Flat River, St. Francois Co. MO, Thurs. Nov. 26, 1981


Charles Coleman Blackwell of Bonne Terre, passed away at his residence November 20, 1981 at the age of 94. He was born February 4, 1887 in Blackwell, Mo. to the late Aquilla and Dolly (Coleman) Blackwell.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary (Miller) Blackwell, in 1960; one daughter, Ruby Collins; 5 sisters and 7 brothers.

Surviving are 4 sons and 2 daughters: Robert Blackwell, Bonne Terre; Ralph Blackwell, Newport Beach, California; Earl Blackwell, Hillsboro, Mo.; James Blackwell, St. Charles; Elsie (Mrs. L. B.) Matthews, Middlebrook; and Bonnie (Mrs. Leslie) Bates of Bismarck, North Dakota.

Also surviving are one sister, Mrs. Fannie Eaves of Festus, Mo., 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Blackwell was a former school teacher, farmer and stone mason. The proudest accomplishment of his long life was his planning and construction of the seven-arch bridge across Terre Bleu on the old Hillsboro Road, 4 miles east of Bonne Terre.

Services were Sunday, November 22 at 2:00 p.m. at Sparks Chapel with Rev. Leland Butler officiating.

Interment was in St. Francois Memorial Park under the direction of Sparks Funeral Home of Bonne Terre.