KETC | Living St. Louis | McKinley Bridge
Video posted by KETC
Happy 100th Birthday to a still great-looking lady!
I love seeing old bridges restored and saved for future generations. My daughter and I were in St Louis in 2002 so this bridge would have been closed at the time. I would love going back to the city and seeing this beauty in person.
McKinley Bridge turns 100 today-opened 11/10/1910!
Here's a couple of photos taken by Dave Vance while working on the re-build. The first one shows the bridge, the second is from the structure looking south toward St. Louis downtown.
I have very fond memories of crossing this bridge in my younger days, back in the 50's. It was quite an adventure as I recall, especially when trains were sharring the same space at the same time, what a thrill that was. My Dad would stay in the outer lane mostly but ocassionally would follow the caboos and let us wave to the guys in it.
The outer lanes were cantilevered, as I recall and had steel poles with old telegraph lines. The lanes were narrow and Mom was always a nervous wreck until we were safely on the opposite side.
Later, durring the 60's and 70's, the bridge was my preferred rought to and from north-west St. Louis County from East St. Louis, where we lived. The other bridges were jammed with traffic at rush hour and the McKinley was usually a faster rought.
I admire Wayne McKaskill for his comments regarding the Community of Venice, IL. Very well stated. The photo posted by John brings back those fond memories. Thanks.
I have traveled the McKinley Bridge since my birth in 1959. I moved away in the 70's to TX. Any time I came home to visit I drove the long way around just to cross the Ol' McKinley Bridge. (Mom and Dad moved to Naperville.) even though they both are gone now, It brings GREAT JOY to know that I can now come back and cross the Bridge. Dad always drove the out side lane even in the winter although sometimes they did close those lanes because of the weather, I remember being scared and the way Mom would distract us was to see who could spell M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, The most times before we got to the other side. Out of the 4 of us kids we got to take turns throwing the toll money in the toll basket... Ah the memories... I remeber going to visit in 2004 and the bridge was closed and I was devestated to think that I might never get to take my Grandchildren over the Bridge. My husband (a Texan) who had never seen such a massive structure of a Bridge was so happy to hear that the bridge was fixed and open again, that we are going to take a road trip just to see it. I wish I had pictures of it from the days when there was just post and chain to keep the cars from going off the bridge... how many cars did go off the bridge?
I had the pleasure (?) of seeing the McKinley bridge for the first time in 1999. I come from Pittsburgh PA, the "City of Bridges". Here, we take good care of our main river crossings and have pride in their appearance.
I don't think the word "shocked" can adequately describe my reaction to this bridge. It was the biggest piece of s**t that I have ever seen. It was is horrendous condition, and it was absolutely bizzare how the traffic lanes weaved back and forth across the old railroad tracks. The ca. 1950 toll plaza at the east end looked like something out of the Planet of the Apes. I made the fellow I was with drive over it a few times so I sould savor this truly weird sight.
Looks a million times better after the rehab. Still, it has none of the bizzare character of the orignal bridge.
I will be the first to admit that I left the city of Venice because of lack of opportunity in my home town but I will disagree with Mr Jones who posted "there is nothing worth while" on the East Side of this Bridge.
Lee Park is a Unique gathering place in the Metro East and Hoopsters from all over the area come there to test themselves against my Homeboys that are recognized all over the area as some of the best.
But most significantly is that in this area unlike other Urban areas I've lived in The Churches outnumber the Liquor Stores.
The Infulence of Mount Nebo, New Salem, Southern Mission, Friendship, and Bethel AME are the positive infulences on a Black Culture that have kept the Black Neighborhood from deteriorating into a Crack and Crime Dominated society like other black areas in this Country.
More importantly the people of this fine little city have proven over time to be better folk than I even thought of them myself while growing up there.
I have not lived in Venice since 1983 and have not considered moving back. But this is more because of Career persuits and not the town itself.
I love my hometown as well as my family and friends that I visit irregularly and How dare you stranger that knows nothing of this place insult it by saying there is nothing there worth while.
Great successful people all over the Country have roots in the Newport Section and it is not only a place worth while but a city with Incredible people that fought hard for a decent way a life Not to mention School Intergration in the 60's.
So before you rule out my Home town as a place not "Worthwhile" I challenge you to pay a visit to the Mount Nebo Missonary Baptist Church. Tell them Wayne McCaskill sent you and you shall discover the the people of my hometown are more than worthwhile but nothing short of the finest people on the face of Gods Great Earth
Here's one, Kevin
I remember seeing photos of the McKinley Bridge during its last days of rail service-in the late 70s showing a single track and a shared lane with cars and trains. Lost the site, anyone have more photos or info?
Yes,taking the eastbound Salisbury exit will put you on the bridge to Illinois.
Will taking Salisbury eastbound get me on the bridge (from Mo)? All the current mapping sites still have it closed and I can't tell which road you take to get on the bridge.
McKinley Bridge fully reopens, today, December 17 to all vehicles at 3 PM.
I plan on using the bike lane and so do the thousands of others who are riding on the trails around the area.
Why do they feel the need for a pedestrian/bicycle lane? I really doubt that many people cross that bridge without a car. I crossed McKinley Bridge daily until it closed in Oct. 2001. It was a four-lane bridge and was HEAVILY traveled. Now that it is only a 2-lane bridge, will it be sufficient for rush-hour traffic?
It's great that the bridge is being rebuilt, especially in the light of the projected -up -to one Billion dollar price tag of a new bridge.
It's just too bad that the McKinley doesn't go anywhere worthwhile, especially heading East.
BY JAYNE MATTHEWS
As politicians continue to debate the need for a new bridge across the Mississippi River -- and how to pay for it -- a new-old bridge is quietly set to reopen.
The McKinley Bridge, which links North St. Louis to Venice, has been undergoing a $46 million restructuring project and is scheduled to open again Nov. 10.
Full story: http://www.bnd.com/news/local/story/129568.html
McKinley Bridge Structure Reconstruction Project
The project is 72% complete and the estimated completion date is Fall 2007.
I don't have much to say about the bridge, but you have to think this bridge has beed through alot and has seen may years of use and disrepair,and I think this bridge is so cool, because it was a railroad and converted too car bridge, I think it would be cool to have this bridge opened again, even though they are talking about building a brand new span over the mississippi, and they need to save the McKinley Bridge.
I also remember ocasionally crossing over the bridge in the mid and late 90's when I had to go from Alton to the Missouri-Illinois Blood Region building at 4050 Lindell and wanted a "short-cut." A couple of times, the automatic coin collectors were jammed and the hoppers were overflowing with change. Then, you would go up on the bridge itself, encountering many of the conditions the previous person commenting has described. Once you got up on the main spans, it wasn't so bad. However, the approaches on the Missouri side were the worst. Apparently the foundations had settled, and the joints (which were like serrated knife blades) were pointed up at a 45 degree angle in some spots. They acted like those like those barriers that they have on parking lots to keep people from leaving without paying. I remember coming to almost a complete stop to avoid damaging my tires while at the same time looking in my rearview mirror to see someone coming at me from the rear at a high rate of speed. Glad to see that the bridge is going to be put back into commission as I believe it is really going to be needed since we don't when (or if) the new interstate bridge is going to be built.
The old McK...was always troubled by the poor motoring access. Many days cars actually drove right off this bridge, failing to make the eastern turn and going off the RR tracks to a 100' fall. On the western side, the bedway narrowed such that, at best, it was merely 1.5 car path later in the 60s to be revised to almost a serious 2 car route. Many accidents due to those two problems. The failure of the State of Illinois to actually complete the Il Rt 3 access onto the brige (not done to this day) eventually killed the old bridge off. However, it was a thrill to ride it, watch through the holes in the concrete to the river below and wonder about making it all the way to the other side! If you went down the more secure middle, you might actually run into a train coming the other way and as a consequence, people learned that if you went down the middle, following the RR tracks, you floored the gas peddle. Until the mid-60s, you could ride the streetcars over the bridge as any kid did back then. The motormen would also floor the streetcars around the tracks and sort of squeal the rails to the point you also wondered if the streetcars were going to stay on the bridge! Lastly, the McK was the last sighting of the Little Green Man, a ghoslty figure said to fly off the bridge into the night during the '50s and '60s when cars or RR personnel approached. Lovers would park in their cars beneath the old bridge on the Venice side for decades.