An Architectural Beauty
Built by Frazier-Davis Construction Company in 1931
and 1932 with steel fabricated by Stupp Bros. Bridge & Iron Company, the Route 66 Meramec River Bridge is a rarity — one of only four Warren Trusses remaining in Missouri.
Truss bridges use a triangular placement of beams to stiffen and strengthen the roadbed, with horizontal “chords” at the top and bottom connected by vertical posts and diagonals. James Warren and Theobald Manzani patented the Warren Truss in 1848, a design defined by its precise arrangement of the chords to create equilateral triangles.
The Route 66 Meramec River Bridge consists of three spans
and totals 1,008 feet in length, with a deck width of 30 feet wide. Evoking both engineering excellence and functional beauty, it is on the list of National Register of Historic Places and deserving of refurbishment to preserve its legacy while providing new life and purpose
The Spirit of 66
Travelers from around the world still cruise
historic Route 66 to honor its legacy. In this spirit, a
trip to Route 66 State Park and the Meramec River
Bridge is a journey to a simpler time, when The
Main Street of America romanced motorists with roadside attractions and small town hospitality.
The logbook at the park’s visitor center reveals tourists
from nearly every continent, who stop in to see the Route
66 memorabilia and neon signs that graced the buildings of Missouri from the 1930s to the 1960s. The unique history and location of the Meramec River Bridge is an opportunity to celebrate the almost mythological heritage that has come to define Route 66.
Building off the investment for a renewed bridge, Route 66
State Park has the potential to create a regional attraction and a place for international visitors to stay and experience new features such as a drive-in theater, Route 66 signage museum, beer garden and concert venue.
A revitalized Meramec River Bridge becomes the backdrop
for a new chapter in the Route 66 story, reimagining multiple timelines at this vital crossroads.
Located on the original Route 66, the Meramec River Bridge is both historically and geographically significant. With the closure of the span to all traffic, there is currently no connection between the visitor center on the east side of the river and the park entrance on the west side.
A renewed Route 66 Meramec River Bridge will immediately create a convenient east- west connection within the park, providing access to the trails and other natural resources on the 424 acres and also improving logistics for park staff. In addition, the dramatic typography around the site allows for impressive outlook and viewing opportunities.
"A renewed Route 66 Meramec River Bridge will immediately create a convenient east- west connection within the park."
The bridge will move forward the vision of connecting the park to the Meramec Greenway, which currently stretches from Sherman Beach in southwest St. Louis County along the river to Glencoe. Connecting Route 66 State Park and the Meramec Greenway will one day provide access to the 240-mile- long Ozark Trail, which stretches southwest through Missouri into Arkansas. Via the proposed plan, the new Route 66 Meramec River Bridge will act as a catalyst for the future development of the site, enabling a network of trails and greenways that connect people to their rivers, parks and communities.
Stupp Family Connection
Philip and Judith Stupp joined the movement to save the Route 66 Meramec River Bridge in mid-2016 when Judith learned of the proposed demolition of the landmark structure online.
Stupp Bros. Bridge & Iron Company, founded in 1856 by
German immigrant, Johann Stupp, fabricated the steel for the bridge. The family business, now operating as Stupp Bros., Inc., has expanded and grown over the years into a major infrastructure provider with emphasis on structural steel buildings, bridges and steel pipe for transporting energy.
The Stupp Bros. Bridge & Iron Co. Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the business, supports the Route 66 Meramec River Bridge initiative, with the goal of raising money and refurbishing the bridge.