Chain of Rocks Bridge

Chain of Rocks Bridge is one of the more interesting bridges in America.

It’s hard to forget a 30-degree turn midway across a mile-long bridge more than 60 feet above the mighty Mississippi. For more than three decades, the bridge was a significant landmark for travelers driving Route 66.

Among the highlights for early travelers along Route 66 was the Chain Of Rocks Bridge, which is as unique and full of character as the Mother Road itself.

With one foot in Illinois and the other in Missouri, the iconic mile-long bridge spans the Mississippi River taking an unusually sharp bend in the middle. The 30-degree turn created a memorable journey for Mother Road enthusiasts. Today, the bridge is closed to vehicle traffic but open for hikers and bikers.

Travel Tip: The 30-degree bend in the bridge was necessitated by water intake towers near the bridge that would have created havoc for river captains if the bridge didn’t accommodate.

The bridge cost $2.5 million to build and was completed in 1929 as a toll bridge. The structure gets its name from a 17-mile rocky rapids called the Chain of Rocks which made the river dangerous to navigate.

The nearly century-old bridge was a must-see from its earliest days, and still is a staple for Route 66 travelers for its scenic views of the river.