Monday, July 21, 2008

Mississippi River bike / pedestrian bridge imperiled

Roger Kramer, the Missouri Bicycle Federation, and others report that the local non-profit that operates the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis does not have funding to keep the bridge open.

The Chain of Rocks bridge used to be part of the old U.S. Route 66. The bridge was closed in 1970, and after almost three decades of disrepair was renovated and reopened as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge for a regional bike trail. At 5,348 feet, it's considered the longest bike / pedestrian bridge in the world.

Read more. I foresee more news of trail closures and delayed facilities construction as governments struggle to allocate funds in tough economic times.


Anonymous said...

Here are some pictures of some great bike trails in the St. Louis area. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Busch Greenway may be renamed InBev Trail to keep it opened or do people in the Lou prefer TrailLight as much as BudLight?

Shriram Krishnamurthi said...

That's a pity. I attended a conference in St. Louis a few years ago and took my bike along, so I got to ride this bridge. I was pretty excited to read about it, and the thing itself didn't disappoint at all; I got a sense of the immense span of the river, which I simply didn't appreciate even from my riverside hotel room. Hopefully these are just idle threats.

Though, the trail up to that point on the STL side was pretty ugly; if not a lot of people feel like riding it (no matter what it's named), I can see why.

Besides, why would InBev sponsor trails? As Belgians, wouldn't they only want to pay for flahutes, not prissy trail-riders?

Anonymous said...

The Chain of Rocks bridge is a great attraction for cyclists/pedestrians and serves as an important reminder of the history of Route 66. The region/state believes cycling is for recreation not commuting, helmets are required and Complete Street legislation is unnecessary.

The Riverfront Trail is one of the best bike paths in the region and demonstrates that highways can eventually become more than subsidies for the auto dependent.

Let's hope Trailnet/Great Rivers/local governments can get their act together and quit wasting taxpayers' funds on less worthy projects.

Fritz said...

Thanks for the comments on this all -- I'm not too familiar with St. Louis area trails but Jack pointed this bit of news out to me.

Regarding InBev, they recently purchased Anheuser-Busch