6 votes

Martin Luther King Bridge


Overview from southwest

Photo taken by James Baughn in September 2008


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BH Photo #124764

Street Views 


Cantilevered through truss over the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri, and St. Clair County, Illinois
Open to traffic
Built 1951; rehabilitated 1987. Lanes reconfigured October 2009; Rehabilitated with full bridge closure 2018-2020
- Bethlehem Steel Co. of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Superstructure)
- Charles A. Ellis (Design/Engineer)
- George A. Maney (Design/Engineer)
- Hazelet + Erdal of Chicago, Illinois (Design/Engineer)
- J. Howard, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois (General Contractor)
- John F. Beasley Co. of Dallas, Texas (Superstructure)
- Massman Construction Co. of Kansas City, Missouri (Substructure)
- Stupp Brothers Bridge & Iron Co. of St. Louis, Missouri (Superstructure)
Cantilevered subdivided Warren through truss
Length of largest span: 962.6 ft.
Total length: 4,008.8 ft. (0.8 mi.)
Deck width: 40.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 19.4 ft.
Also called
Veterans Bridge (original name)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.63086, -90.17846   (decimal degrees)
38°37'51" N, 90°10'42" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/745608/4279590 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Granite City
Land survey
T. 45 N., R. 7 E., Sec. 13
Average daily traffic (as of 2018)
Inventory numbers
MONBI 3954 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 22645 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 70 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 10, 2022: New photos from Bambi Sharkoman
  • September 5, 2021: New photo from Patrick Gurwell
  • August 23, 2020: Updated by Nick Boppel: Bridge reopened as of 8/19/20
  • April 3, 2020: Updated by Nick Boppel: Note lengthy and overtime bridge closure
  • October 12, 2019: New photos from Daniel Barnes
  • May 18, 2019: New photos from Joe Sonderman
  • March 30, 2017: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added engineers and contractors.
  • December 7, 2012: New photo from Mike Fahrenbacher
  • September 20, 2011: New photos from Jason Smith
  • August 21, 2011: New photos from Ben Tate
  • April 29, 2011: New photos from James McCray
  • February 15, 2011: New photos from Mark Dellbringge
  • May 9, 2010: New photo from Robert Stephenson
  • April 5, 2010: New Street View added by James Baughn
  • October 21, 2009: Updated by Kim Harvey: bridge to reopen this evening
  • October 12, 2009: Updated by Kim Harvey: IDOT started construction project on the bridge
  • June 4, 2009: Updated by Kim Harvey: upcoming road work on bridge
  • November 16, 2008: New photo from Kim Harvey
  • September 18, 2008: New photos from James Baughn



Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted January 22, 2023, by John Shukites (jmshukites [at] gmail [dot] com)

I just read in the long range transportation plan for the St. Louis region that there are talks of replacing the MLK bridge within the next decade. The line item I am speaking of can be found on p. 39 of the document.


Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted December 17, 2022, by TH Wolf (DragonWolfe2018 [at] Outlook [dot] com)

Wasn't this bridge black or a darker color during the 1970's or was it just cloudy every time I visited St. Louis?

Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted August 23, 2020, by Nick Boppel (nickboppel01 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Bridge has reopened after 2 years. Ironically, given the Eads Bridge closure, this timing couldn't have been better.


Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted August 26, 2018, by David Huffman (davhuffm [at] mndsprng [dot] com)

Bridge will be closed for one year for repairs.


Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted March 30, 2017, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I was surprised to not see a single contractor or engineer listed on this website (or any other) for this large monumental bridge. It took me some digging, but I found the many engineers and contractors listed in a newspaper article from the grand opening. I have added these, and you can learn more on my new page for this bridge too http://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=mi...

Of note, Charles Ellis was one of the several engineers involved with the design of this bridge, although he died before the bridge was completed. Ellis is of course the engineer who did the vast majority of design engineering for the Golden Gate Bridge.

Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted July 25, 2015, by C.M. Conkle (msplinter1964 [at] gmail [dot] com)
Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted September 29, 2009, by Sharon Spear (sweetsexysharon [at] gmail [dot] com)

A new article posted today, 9-29-09, giving the dates that the lane closures will occur.


There's LOTS of comments posted on this article too. Most of the comments tend to disagree with the new configuration of one west bound lane and two east bound lanes. The comments seem to be from people that travel the bridge during rush hours.

Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted September 10, 2009, by Sharon Spear (sweetsexysharon [at] gmail [dot] com)

Due to the number of accidents on this bridge, next month IL DOT will begin work to turn this four lane bridge into a three lane bridge. There will be one lane westbound and two lanes eastbound with a barrier in the middle. The bridge will also get a fresh road surface during this time.

The full article can be read here:


Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted February 4, 2009, by BUD KISO (budkiso [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

Hi, Thanks for all of the cool pictures. Is there a way to get more dimensions (height of towers etc.) for the bridge?

Martin Luther King Bridge
Posted January 31, 2009, by charles (charleshaigler [at] hotmail [dot] com)

How about putting up bridge weight and height limits on and under bridge?