While still in St. Louis today, we took the opportunity to walk across the Mississippi River on the McKinley Bridge Bikeway. What a view!
We drove to Venice, Illinois, to park at the McKinley Bridge Roadside Park and headed back on foot over the Mississippi towards Missouri. The bridge, built in 1910, was originally a railroad bridge with automobile lanes on the outer edges on cantilevers. The bridge was closed in 2001 due to unsafe conditions. After six years, the new, improved bridge was reopened.
McKinley Bridge is no longer a rail bridge, now having automobile lanes in the middle and a bike lane on the southern outside edge of the bridge. It is this outside lane that offers such great views of the Mississippi and downtown St. Louis.
On the Missouri side, the ramp between the street and bridge levels has iron arches for architectural interest. At the bottom of the bridge, the trail connects to the St. Louis Riverfront Trail, but we turned around and went back over the bridge. (The McKinley Bridge Bikeway also connects to Confluence Bikeway in Madison County, Illinois, thus making a giant loop with the Chain of Rocks Bridge farther north up the river.)
As we descended down the ramp on the Illinois side, we had great views of the Roadside Park. The folks in Venice, Illinois, wanted to celebrate their side of the bridge and commissioned a sculpture, built completely through fundraising monies.
On a personal note: I’ve listed today’s walk as one of my favorites, not only for the scenery or the great bridge, but because it is the first walk in 2013 that all six members of our family did a walk together. And it only took three hundred seven days!