9 votes

Jefferson Barracks Bridge


Side view

Photo taken by Jack Schmidt

BH Photo #107215


Street Views 


Joey Best driving to NYC Part 10, Day 3, crossing Mississippi River

Nice bridge

Video posted by AVJoey

Play video on YouTube


Pair of parallel tied arch bridges over the Mississippi River on Interstate 255 / U. S. Highway 50
St. Louis County, Missouri, and Monroe County, Illinois
Open to three lanes of traffic in each direction
Westbound bridge built 1984; eastbound bridge built 1990
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- Halverson Construction Co., Inc of Springfield, Illinois
Steel through arch
Length of largest span: 909.9 ft.
Total length: 4,017.7 ft. (0.8 mi.)
Deck width: 50.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 35.0 ft.
Also called
JB Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.48681, -90.27445   (decimal degrees)
38°29'13" N, 90°16'28" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/737725/4263350 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 43 N., R. 7 E., Sec. 6
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
MONBI 1541 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 22636 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 79.4 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • May 18, 2019: New photos from Joe Sonderman
  • August 25, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • August 20, 2016: New photo from David Huffman
  • December 7, 2012: New photo from Mike Fahrenbacher
  • September 24, 2011: Photo imported by James Baughn
  • March 15, 2011: Updated by Kim Harvey: corrected eastbound opening date per an response in the forum
  • March 15, 2011: Updated by Mark Dellbringge: Added U. S. Hwy. 50 to overview; and incorporated data from 2010 NBI
  • March 14, 2011: Updated by Kim Harvey: added US 50 to category, fixed American Bridge link
  • February 28, 2011: New video from Kim Harvey
  • January 6, 2011: New photo from John Christeson
  • July 2, 2008: Updated by Kim Harvey: fixed typo in builder
  • June 26, 2008: Updated by Kim Harvey
  • June 4, 2008: New photos from David B. Haun
  • March 31, 2006: Posted photo from Jack Schmidt

Related Bridges 



Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted November 9, 2020, by Gary Collard (Gary [at] diamondcoring [dot] com)

I was the superintendent for Halverson Construction on the east bound 2nd JB bridge

It was winter when we opened the bridge. I watch MOT maintenance remove snow from the east bound lanes and dump it over the sides . On several occasions they got the loader bucket in to the cable stays ,doing damage to the cables. A new bridge less the a few days being open ,and already being abused .

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted May 20, 2019, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Perhaps we should go back to wrought iron...it seems to weather better than this weathering steel.

As a side note, I see we have a comment on this bridge that hearkens back to the bad old days of the flame wars on here. I am sure glad those days are over.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted May 20, 2019, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Westbound span has been partially reopened. Two lanes open at morning rush hour, one lane at all other times, while repair work proceeds. It is load-restricted.


Amazing. This modern bridge is only 35 years old, and it's falling apart. Meanwhile the older Mississippi River bridges in the St. Louis area continue to last with careful routine maintenance - Eads, Martin Luther King, even the unliked Poplar Street Bridge is older and has stood up better.

Perhaps tied arches should be considered to have short lifetimes? I note that the tied arch I-280 bridge (built 1970) over the Mississippi at the Quad Cities had its condition downgraded to "3-Serious" for superstructure.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted May 15, 2019, by Albert E Bertram (abertram8297 [dot] com [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Correction on my previous post. Only the westbound span is closed, as that was where the cracks were found in the steel cross members. My bad!

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted May 15, 2019, by Albert E Bertram (abertram8297 [dot] com [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Bad news for the Jefferson Barracks Bridge! During a biennial inspection of the bridge that was conducted last week, cracks were found in the steel cross-members on the arches. One was said to be about six feet long! The bridge was immediately closed by MODOT and no information has been released as to what repairs will need to be made and to when it will be reopened. The westbound span is still being inspected by engineers. Apparently, the eastbound span is in good shape. There is speculation that MODOT and IDOT will divide the eastbound bridge so traffic can move both directions. This was done previously when only the westbound span was open, until the eastbound span was finished in 1990.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted February 17, 2013, by Susan Fox (jsfox [at] ktis [dot] net)

Thanks to these pictures I was able to win an argument with my husband about the old JB bridge ever being a toll bridge.I Have very strong memories about stopping at that toll booth. As to the comment about why anyone would have a site about bridges....I am 68 years old and my memories about traveling across that bridge as a little girl are as vivid as ever, and seeing the bridge again just brought back all the wonderful memories of visits to reletives in Illinois. I would say that is an excellent reason for having a site like this. Thanks for the memories.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted October 1, 2012, by Chris (cwm564 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

Pic of the old J B Bridge taken from it's replacement, circa 1984. I have home movies from around 1966 entering from the west and driving across.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted May 18, 2012, by Anon

Some photographs from 1945 of the original Jefferson Barracks Bridge from the Department of Transportation Collection at the Mo State Archives.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted March 15, 2011, by Al Bertram (abertram8297 [at] charter [dot] net)

Just a quick correction. The eastbound span of the Jefferson Barracks (I-255) bridge was opened in December 1990, not 1986. It was opened right around the time that Iben Browning predicted that there would be a major earthquake on the New Madrid Fault. It took some time to complete the eastbound span, as there were money and construction issues. They also dropped one of the horizontal steel members from the arch into the Mississippi River while it was being hoisted, and some time was lost while they retrieved it. I remember that there was a lot of talk at the time about how that earthquake (if it happened) might affect the new bridge. I do have some pictures of the old bridge alongside the new one while it was being build back in the early and mid-80's. The old Jefferson Barracks bridge was completed in 1944 as a war-time measure to allow the Illinois side better access to the western part of the St. Louis area. At that time, there were no bridges on the Mississippi River between the Chester (IL) bridge and the MacArthur Bridge in St. Louis and only a ferry at Davis Street in south St. Louis that crossed over to East Carondelet in Illinois. There was also a railroad ferry that operated between the Carondelet section of south St. Louis and the railyard at Dupo, Illinois that I believe stopped operation sometime in the 1950's. The old Jefferson Barracks was a toll bridge until 1959, when the bonds were paid off. It closed for good when the new bridge opened in 1984 and was eventually demolished. I remember there was a proposal to dismantle it and ship it to South American to be rebuilt somewhere (I never did hear what country was involved)there, but that obviously never came about.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted October 17, 2009, by John O (bigtex144 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This is, afterall, a website dedicated to bridges; what else would we post about? ;)

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted September 17, 2009, by Anonymous

Who writes a post about a bridge?

I think you just answered your own question, Mr. Hill!

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted September 17, 2009, by Jason Hill (Jhill [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Wow you saw a bridge when you were a kid great story!

Who writes a post about a bridge?


Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted September 2, 2009, by Jason Crecelius (linxbl [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Thanks Sharon,

I just saw the picture. I was in pre-school when this bridge was being built and I could see it from the playground. I also remember my parents taking me to cliff cave to watch the old bridge be destroyed. This bridge was not as scarry as the old alton bridge. Thanks once again for directing me to the picture.


Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted September 2, 2009, by Sharon Spear (sweetsexysharon [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hi Jason,

In the source section on this page, just about the comment section, is a link to the American Bridge website. There's a photo there of the old bridge and one of the newer spans. The image is small but it will give you some idea of what the Old JB bridge looked like. I hope that is helpful to you.



Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted September 1, 2009, by Jason Crecelius (linxbl [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I remember crossing the original bridge as a small child and watching the the new bridge being built. The original bridge was very narrow and difficult to cross. I have not seen any pictures on the internet of the original bridge. Would love to see one posted.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted September 11, 2008, by David Smothers (davidsmothers [at] msn [dot] com)

I have a photograph taken of myself on the approach of the old bridge in August of 1974. (I was 5 years old) I will look it up so it can be included on the site.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted June 4, 2008, by Bill Tayon (Btayon [at] aol [dot] com)

Any pictures of the old original bridge?

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
Posted May 2, 2006, by James (sptfanstl [at] hotmail [dot] com)

These two bridges were built in the late very 1980's into the very early 1990's. The east bound was built second (it is located in the same alighnment as the old original bridge that was replaced) and was dedicated in December 1991. The westbound was built first right alongside the original bridge.