Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#55: Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge

St. Louis sometimes takes pride in the fact that 'the mother road' U.S. Route 66 once passed through the city. For those not familiar with the now-defunct highway, Route 66 was the first multi-state highway and it originated in the 1920s. The route started in downtown Chicago and ended in Los Angeles. Route 66 passed through several cities and small towns, including Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Springfield (IL and MO), among many others. It has several pop-culture references, including the hit song (made famous by Nat 'King' Cole), as well as the 1960s TV show of the same name. In short, it was 'the road that built America'. Several historical landmarks and signs are still visible along the road, and many photographers/authors have kept their memories alive in books. Route 66 has been replaced with interstates and state highways in most parts of the road.

The bridge that was spotlighted with a cake ran for nearly 40 years, starting in 1929. People had to pay a toll fee to cross it, but to most was worth it! After all, it helped Illinois travelers get to North County quick without having to worry about the hustle and bustle of the city. My dad recalls driving on it at one time during his teenage/college days. He still thinks, after all these years, that its weird how the bridge wasn't straight. (You'll see what I mean in the following pictures) The bridge closed in 1965, and it was eventually replaced with the current bridge (I-270). The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was rehabbed and restored in the 1990s, and today it serves as a cornerstone of memories featuring Route 66 artifacts. One of the world's longest pedestrian/bicycle only bridges welcome both bike riders and walkers for recreational purposes.

There are two ways to get to the bridge. Actually, two different 'sides': the Missouri and/or Illinois. The Missouri side is plain and simple. Just park your car in front of the abandoned lot off of Riverview. It's not even 1/4 of a mile from I-270. However, you should always lock your car and not leave valuables in sight. This is not coming from me; the official website states that. On the Illinois side, take the first exit (IL 3), and go south until you get to the first stoplight. Turn right, and keep going straight. You will be going over a one-lane bridge (over the Chain of Rocks canal). After that, keep going until you reach the parking lot. The bridge and park's hours are available on the website. 

What I really like about this cake is that this is probably the only one that pays tribute to Route 66. There are, though, three other cakes with the Route 66 logo/symbol on it. I've always been obsessed with highways and maps all through my life, and every now and then I collect Route 66 merchandise. Here are the other sides of the cake:

Left side of the cake

Back side of the cake

Right side of the cake

Wikipedia link

10500 Riverview Drive, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63137
Cake artist: Katie Lucas


  1. What is the bird-like thing on the top layer on the left side of the cake? Thank you for any information

    1. You raise a good question. If I get around to talking to the artist, I'll ask them