22 Years Later, Remembering the Old Mark Twain Memorial Bridge
It spanned the Mississippi for 64 years and is now only a memory. Thanks to the Library of Congress, we can remember what used to be the original Mark Twain Memorial Bridge.
The Mark Twain Memorial Bridge was designed in 1934 and opened in 1936 by then President Roosevelt. It was a ceremony of great magnitude back in the day. Crowds lined the street for a parade and then the dedication.
Many don't remember that the Mark Twain Bridge was originally a toll bridge as Wikipedia documents.
My childhood was spent crossing that bridge with my parents and this collection from the Library of Congress is like jumping into a time capsule. Most of these were taken during a survey by the Army Corp of Engineers in 1977.
Remembering the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge
The Mark Twain Memorial Bridge would eventually be replaced when the new bridge opened in 2000. One of the only videos I can find showing what it was like to drive over the bridge before it was destroyed in 2000 shows the many patches and repairs that held it together. I remember being able to see through small holes in the structure on the passenger side of my dad's truck.
MODOT included part of the demolition of the original Mark Twain Memorial Bridge in this compilation.
I have to confess that driving over the new bridge for the past 22 years, I had forgotten some of the features of the original. These Library of Congress photos took me back to a time when you drove across the bridge with the lighthouse overlooking it. It was narrow and by the end of its existence, it was in rough shape. But, for many of us, it was our childhood driving fixture. Gone now, but not forgotten.