Arlington Bridge

Missouri
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Arlington Bridge

Post by Born on 66 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:59 am

I was born and raised in Waynesville, MO just blocks from old 66. But, it wasn't until I was out of college (Rolla) that interest in the old road started to grow. When I visited the folks from time to time, I would take time to find and retrace the old road through much of Missouri. The stretch between Rolla and Lebanon is particularly interesting.

I am trying to find a photo or drawing or something that shows how old 66 crossed the Little Piney river at Arlington. I have visited the site multiple times, but I can find no traces of the original bridges, their approaches, or their location.

I believe the original bridge was to the north of the westbound lanes of I-44. I think it crossed the river with one bridge, then after a short earthen section, another bridge crossed the railroad tracks on the east side of the river and. I think the road turned sharply south upon crossing the tracks at Arlington and ran under the new (then 66) bridge.

I would like to be able to draw on a map the path of the original road and bridges and show it relative to the current highway. I have found a couple of photos of these bridges from back in the '20's, but there's not enough shown for me to figure out exactly how the road ran and where the bridges were.

The existing remnant of 66 approaching from the east into Arlington is NOT the original roadway. They altered that last curve at the bottom of the hill to make it pass under the new bridge. The original is a little farther up the hill and you can still see the cut through the trees and under the bridge. You can also make it out on a current aerial photo such as Google Earth. But, once you get to the westbound lanes of I-44, there's no trace of the original route and how it approached the river.

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Re: Arlington Bridge

Post by swa » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:09 am

Stefan Joppich's map is here:
http://stjo66.de/images/66-MO2005-2_ill ... olie19.jpg
But that's not enough detail for what you seem to be trying to do.

The USGS historical map viewer might help you a bit more:
http://arcg.is/1OzH0Tf

As you see, the bridge in use in the 1950s over the Little Piney ran at a different angle, starting out under (lower) the westbound bridge, but ending up on the other side of the eastbound lanes.

Unfortunately no topo maps are online between 1926 and 1950 of that area.

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Re: Arlington Bridge

Post by Born on 66 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:27 am

That's pretty awesome! Thanks!

I went to the USGS site last night and had no luck with their "downloader", and gave up. I had used USGS maps previously to find "lost" sections, but that was back before the internet and you had to order hard copies. I lost those maps.

I was able to overlay the USGS map over a Google Earth view and it worked wonderfully! I had no idea 66 veered to the east like that just past Stoney Dell. It looks like that section between Stoney Dell and the railroad tracks is essentially buried under the interstate. That explains why you can't see any remnants of any bridges or anything.

Not looking for an answer, but I wonder how traffic was diverted while they were building this section of interstate. I believe what's now the westbound lanes was originally a two-way replacement for 66 until the eastbound lanes were built. But, they had to somehow keep the old bridge operational until that was done.

Thanks again. Mystery solved!

I'm still interested in any more maps or photos of the area that might shed even more light on the matter.

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Re: Arlington Bridge

Post by Born on 66 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:54 am

Not to belabor the point, but I studied some other maps on that link you provided. It was most enlightening.

The 1950 map shows the original route which crosses the current route to the east, then comes back across as it approaches the railroad tracks.

The 1951 map shows how they "cut" the road near Stoney Dell, and the old route became the eastbound lanes as it crosses the river, and they built a new road to the west (north) with a new bridge. So, up to Stoney Dell the old road became the westbound lanes. After Stoney Dell, the old road became the eastbound lanes.

If I ever find myself back there, I may get out and poke around under the "west" end of the bridges looking for remnants of the original bridges. I have been looking in the wrong place every time.

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Re: Arlington Bridge

Post by Born on 66 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:41 pm

After overlaying the USGS line over the Google Earth photo, I spotted a pair of wheel ruts right about where the line was, on the south (east) side of the eastbound lanes. Using Street View, I zoomed in on those lines and found them to be on raised ground. I have every reason to believe that's the original road bed for 66!

I never noticed that before because I never imagined that 66 had veered off to the "right" and was actually across the interstate for a short distance. That trail is actually directly accessible from the interstate (you just drive right off the shoulder).

This old road bed is only a coupla blocks long, and ends about where the approach to the current eastbound bridge is.

I've read lots of stuff about finding / tracking old 66, and have NEVER read anything about this little lost piece. For the hard core trackers, here's another little gem to check out.

Attached is my overlay showing the original route on today's Google Earth. That little section to the "right" of the interstate before you get to the bridge is the piece I'm talking about.

Below is a link to a photo from 1924 that shows this section of 66 back when it was still MO 14. It all fits.
http://www.66postcards.com/postcards/mo/MO063152.html

Across the river, the outer road follows the old road except for the last little bit where they "straightened out the curve" so that the road could continue under the new bridges into Arlington. You can see the original curve in the unaltered photo, and you can spot it in person when you're there. You can see the cut through the trees. Once you see it, you also see how the curve was altered to get to Arlington.

I had always assumed that part went across both bridges before turning "West" and crossing the Piney to the "North" of the interstate. But, I now know that it crossed right under the current eastbound bridge.
Attachments
Arlington Google.pdf
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Re: Arlington Bridge

Post by Born on 66 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:47 pm

Below is another link to a photo that appears to have been taken from Arlington looking south. I presume that little concrete bridge goes over the railroad tracks. Notice how this bridge is curved, presumably because there's a sharp right hand turn (when heading east) once you get off.

http://www.66postcards.com/postcards/mo/MO063210.html

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Re: Arlington Bridge

Post by Born on 66 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:57 pm

Here's another view from the south showing how it looked right after they divided the highway around 1950. http://www.66postcards.com/postcards/mo/MO063300.html
The old bridge and original alignment on the right is now two lanes eastbound. Everything on the left is new and is two lanes westbound.

"Behind the camera" is where the new westbound lanes rejoin the original alignment which became (for a while) the westbound lanes. An all new alignment was built for the eastbound lanes. The camera is about where the old alignment "crossed over".

The old alignment that served as eastbound lanes for some distance was replaced in the late '60's with a new bridge and alignment alongside the westbound lanes. The current outer road is the original alignment (for the most part).

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