Route 66 News

Meramec River Bridge named to National Register

The old bridge that carried U.S. 66 over the Meramec River at the former town of Times Beach, Mo., was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places, according to an e-mail Friday from the National Park Service.

The bridge now serves to carry travelers into Route 66 State Park. According to the excellent Bridgehunter site, the Meramec River U.S. 66 bridge was built in 1931 and is more than 1,000 feet long. The bridge also was known as the Times Beach Bridge.

Incidentally, Route 66 State Park is an excellent place for a roadie to visit. The main offices are housed in the former Bridgehead Inn, a 1930s-era roadhouse that now contains a lot of Route 66 memorabilia and a well-stocked gift shop. More about the state park can be read here.

Times Beach was evacuated in the 1980s because of dioxin contamination during a flood. After the tainted soil was incinerated, the land was converted into a state park. More about the Times Beach saga can be read here.

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