Poplar Street Bridge
|Poplar Street Bridge|
|Official name||Bernard F. Dickmann Bridge|
|Carries||8 lanes of I-55 / I-64 / I-70 / US 40|
|Locale||St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois|
|Design||steel girder bridge|
|Total length||2,164 feet (660 m)|
|Width||104 feet (32 m)|
|Longest span||600 feet (183 m)|
|Clearance below||92 feet (28 m)|
|Daily traffic||123,564 (2012)|
The Poplar Street Bridge, officially the Bernard F. Dickmann Bridge, completed in 1967, is a 647-foot (197 m) long deck girder bridge across the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois. The bridge arrives on the Missouri shore line just south of the Gateway Arch.
Planned just before construction of the Arch, the builders in 1959 were to request that 25 acres (100,000 m2) of the Gateway Arch property be turned over from the National Park Service for the bridge. The request generated enormous controversy and ultimately 2.5 acres (10,000 m2) of the Jefferson Expansion National Memorial (which included all of the original platted area of St. Louis when it was acquired in the 1930s and 1940s) was given to the bridge.
Three Interstates and a U.S. Route cross the entire bridge, one of two triple-route concurrencies of interstate highways in existence. It is crossed by approximately 100,000 vehicles daily, making it the second most heavily used bridge on the river, after the I-94 Dartmouth Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some of that load is intended to be diverted to the New Mississippi River Bridge.
Interstate 55, Interstate 64, Interstate 70, and U.S. Route 40 cross the Mississippi on the Poplar Street bridge. Interstate 44 crosses on the Missouri half, however, it is unsigned. U.S. Route 66 was also concurrent over this bridge until 1979, and U.S. 50 was routed over it before the interstates were constructed. According to current construction plans, I-70 will be realigned to cross the river once the New Mississippi River Bridge is completed by 2015. I-44 will, follow the current alignment of I-70 through downtown to the west approach for the New Mississippi River Bridge
The east end of the bridge crosses the south end of what was Bloody Island which Robert E. Lee connected to the mainland of Illinois with landfill in the 1850s. During its island days several Missouri politicians fought duels there. What was Bloody Island is now a train yard.
Although the bridge's official name honors former St. Louis mayor Bernard F. Dickmann, it is most-commonly referred to as the Poplar Street Bridge, with many St. Louisans unaware of its official name. The Missouri end of the bridge sits over Poplar Street, and the media started referring to it by that name long before the bridge opened.
See also 
- "2008 District 6 Traffic Volume and Commercial Vehicle Count Map". MoDOT. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Jefferson National Expansion Administrative History by Sharon A. Brown - nps.gov - Retrieved January 22, 2008
- Allington, Adam (26 February 2008). "Blunt, Blagojevich sign agreement on bridge". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Crouch, Elisa (28 February 2008). "Blunt and Blagojevich sign bridge agreement". KWMU.
- SOS, Missouri - State Archives Education: "Crack of the Pistol: Dueling in 19th Century Missouri"
- Western Historical Manuscript Collection Photo Database Photographs collections at the University of Missouri–St. Louis