Clark BridgeHighway 67
Alton, Illinois 62002
The Clark Bridge, opened in 1994, is a cable-stay bridge, unique in its structure in the United States. The bridge is named for explorer William Clark, who helped lead the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery expedition from 1804 to 1806.
Also known as the “Super Bridge” for its difficulty in being built and timing of its construction- which was still ongoing at the time of the Great Flood of 1993- The Clark Bridge’s arduous assembly was even featured in a NOVA documentary called “Super Bridge” which highlighted the difficulties of its construction. Hanson Engineers under contract of the Illinois Department of Transportation used techniques never before used in the United States. The bridge was the first time “Such a light, steel-framed, cable-stayed design was combined with a cable saddle type of pylon.”
The Clark Bridge is 4,620 feet long and carries U.S. route 67 between Alton, Illinois and Missouri. The structure required 8,100 tons of structural steel, 44,100 cubic yards of concrete and more than 160 miles of cable wrapped with four acres of yellow plastic piping. The bridge is supported by 44 steel cables looped over saddles and perched on top of a pair of ten foot wide concrete pylons 250 feet above the Mississippi River. Design work on the bridge began in 1985, with construction starting in June 1990. The span carries four lanes of traffic and two additional paths for bicycles and pedestrians- more than double the lanes of the preceding bridge of the same name.
Often described as looking like the sails of a ship, the Clark Bridge is heavily photographed and forms a perfect landmark over the landscape of the river. It can be seen from many points in Alton and has come to be known as a symbol of the city itself.