Route 66 State Park

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Coordinates: 38°30′23″N 90°35′25″W / 38.50639°N 90.59028°W / 38.50639; -90.59028
Route 66 State Park
Missouri State Park
Meramec River Route 66 bridge J421.jpg
Rte. 66 once crossed the Meramec River on this bridge, which used to link the park's visitor center to the park itself.
Country United States
State Missouri
County St. Louis County
Coordinates 38°30′23″N 90°35′25″W / 38.50639°N 90.59028°W / 38.50639; -90.59028
Area 0.65 sq mi (2 km2)
Founded 1997
Website: mostateparks.com

Route 66 State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Missouri, located on the former site of the town of Times Beach. It is a 419 acre (1.7 km²) park located less than one mile (1.6 km) east of Eureka.

Times Beach was bought, dismantled, and decontaminated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency following the discovery of widespread dioxin contamination in the 1980s.[1] Fields of wild grass and brush now grow where the homes of evacuated residents formerly stood. Deserted streets line the park and hint at what once was a resort community in west Saint Louis County. This park has very few accommodations in comparison with other Missouri state parks. It provides access to the Meramec River and supports cycling and equestrian uses.

A visitor center located in the old Bridgehead Inn has photos and memorabilia of structures along Route 66 in the Saint Louis area which have been torn down and replaced by modern shopping centers and strip malls. The visitor center also contains an interpretation of the ecological disaster and the 20-year clean up of the area. The first historic Route 66 marker erected on the highway (in Springfield, Missouri) has been replaced and moved to the park.

The visitor center, on the east side of the Meramec River, was joined to the park on the west side by the old Route 66 bridge. That bridge, however, has been closed because of safety concerns. The park itself is accessible only from east-bound Interstate 44 at exit 265. The visitor center, however, is accessed from either direction at exit 266 and is cut off from the park it serves.[2] [3]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Joint Federal/State Action Taken to Relocate Times Beach Residents". United States Environmental Protection Agency. 1983-02-22. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  2. ^ "Old Route 66 Bridge Permanently Closed at Route 66 State Park". Missouri State Parks. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  3. ^ "Route 66 State Park Bridge". Missouri Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2011-08-28.