Route 66 News

Times Beach Bridge to be closed permanently

The Missouri Department of Transportation will permanently close the Old Route 66 Bridge in Route 66 State Park on Thursday, according to a news release.

An annual inspection showed the bridge can no longer support traffic. The bridge links the east side of Route 66 State Park with the west over the Meramec River. The state park is on the site of the former town of Times Beach, which was evacuated in the 1980s because of dioxin contamination.

More from the news release …

All other facilities at the park remain open. The roadhouse along Route 66, built in 1935, now serves as the park’s visitor center. Day-use facilities at the park include walking, bicycling and equestrian trails, picnic areas, a playground and a boat ramp for access to the Meramec River.

Visitors wanting to use the day-use facilities will now access the west end of the park by using Williams Road at Exit 265 from eastbound Interstate 44. People wanting to access the visitor center can continue to do so from Lewis Road Exit 266. Signs will be posted on Interstate 44 to inform visitors about the new access.

The announcement came days after the bridge was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

“Permanently” is a long time; maybe someday funds will be found to shore up the bridge enough for pedestrian traffic, at least.