Rally ’round the bridge

Here’s a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article today about efforts by the Route 66 Association of Missouri and other preservation groups to prevent the razing of the historic Route 66 Bridge at Route 66 State Park near Eureka.

[…] Joe Sonderman of Hazelwood, a local traffic reporter and author of three books on Route 66, said the aging span is one of the last historic links to old Route 66 through the western reaches of St. Louis County.

“We have been working to try to preserve the bridge, to do what we can to make sure that all other avenues are exhausted before they demolish it,” said Sonderman, who hopes someone can buy time until the money is found to repair the bridge. “Once you tear that thing down, it’s gone.”

Sonderman hopes public outcry will save the bridge before another piece of old Route 66 vanishes.

“If you drive it, you understand,” Sonderman said. “It only takes one trip to realize it’s more than just blacktop. It’s history you can touch.”

Good article, but I think one of the angles being overlooked is that the closing and possible destruction of the bridge really hurts the state park. The bridge’s closing puts the park’s offices at a dead end, and the rest of the park can be accessed only through a circuitous route of frontage roads and Interstate 44. I’m wondering whether the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is angry at MoDOT for this.

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