"Construction on the bridge began in August, 1902 with the sinking of the piers. Workers who worked inside the piers were called sandhogs. They worked one hour at a time twice a day inside the piers. One worker died as a result of the bends.
Progress on the bridge was slow for several reasons. Shipments of raw materials including lumber and steel were delayed. Inclement weather threatened work stoppages on several occasions. A dispute developed over the right-of-way needed for construction that had to be settled in court. And finally, raw materials had to be stored on the St. Louis County side due to the lack of available space in St. Charles. This forced workers to ferry materials and supplies across the river when needed on the St. Charles side.
Construction was completed in the spring of 1904 in time for the world's fair in St. Louis. The bridge was a combination highway and streetcar bridge. The streetcar station at the western terminus of the bridge still stands at 2nd and Adams in St. Charles. It was operated as toll by the St. Charles and St. Louis County Bridge Company until December, 1931. At that time it was incorporated in the state highway system as part of U.S. Route 40. Tolls and trolleys ceased in January, 1932.
In June 1959, the bridge was re-designated as part of Route 115 after a new U.S. Route 40 bridge opened that would later become part of Interstate 70. The bridge remained part of SR-115 until it was replaced by the Discovery Bridge. It was closed to traffic in 1992 and demolished in 1998."
The above view and this one are from the late 50's or very early 60's and are a view east from St Charles towards St Louis County.
Up until about 1959 after the interstate system had started this would have been the only direct access to St Charles from St Louis.
The nearest bridge south was about 15 miles away and served the southern part of the county.
But this one was the only direct access to the city of St Charles.
Much of this view has changed now. Traffic was stopped on this bridge in 1992, with the bridge, sadly, coming down in 1998. On the very left edge of the above photo you can see what looks like the edge of a tall building or tower.
This is the same view now looking east. The store on the left can be seen in the first two images.
This is a photo of that tower like building, and this is what you have seen coming west has you arrived in St Charles.
When the bridge was first built it served as a trolley bridge and auto bridge and was completed in time for the 1904 Worlds fair. This building served as a depot for the trolley line.
Another view of the building with passengers and a trolley.
When I was growing up and we would travel to St Louis this is the bridge we would have used.
The towered depot still stands also.
Although much of the charm still exists on Main St now, it is all based on tourism and not daily commerce as it had been still when I was young.
You can see the walk-way on this side of the bridge.
A buddy of mine was once walking along the walk-way taking pictures when he spotted a body floating in the river below.
For a very short period of time St Charles had a ponton bridge contecting it to St Louis County.
St Charles is in the background.
River ice would have made this bridge impossible to maintain.
Looking west towards St Charles just before you would have gotten off the bridge. The building below the bridge still stands and looks much the same.
This is a view of Main St. looking from the walk-way south.
It looked much like this when I was growing up, except the cars were newer.