Chester Bridge

The Chester Bridge is a continuous truss bridge connecting Missouri's Route 51 with Illinois Route 150 across the Mississippi River between Perryville, Missouri and Chester, Illinois. It is one of two motor-traffic bridges spanning the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, Missouri.[1]

Chester Bridge
Coordinates37°54′11″N 89°50′11″W
Carries2 lanes of Route 51/ IL 150
CrossesMississippi River
LocalePerryville, Missouri and Chester, Illinois
DesignContinuous truss bridge
Total length2,826 feet (861 m)
Width22 feet (7 m)
Longest span670 feet (204 m)
Clearance below104 feet (32 m)
OpenedAugust 23, 1942


Located at river mile marker 109.5, the Chester Bridge is a two-lane traffic truss bridge which was constructed by Sverdrup and Parcel and Associates, Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri. Construction began in 1941 and was finished in 1942 at a cost of $1.385 million (1942 dollars).[2] The bridge opened on August 23, 1942 and operated as a toll bridge until January 1, 1989.[3] The main span was destroyed by a severe tornadic force thunderstorm on July 29, 1944, and reconstructed 2 years later. The bridge serves about 6,400 vehicles per day.[4]

Chester Welcome Center

The Chester Welcome Center is located in Segar Park next to the Chester Bridge and overlooks the Mississippi River. The park was dedicated to E. C. Segar who was born on December 8, 1894, in Chester, Illinois.[5] Segar is most noted for his cartoon comic "Popeye” which he created in 1929 from his recollections of a local scrapper on the Mississippi River. A six-foot “life-size” bronze statue of Popeye stands near the bridge.[6][7]

The Chester Bridge can be seen in the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night, although in the film a highway sign for the (non-existent) "Arkansas 49" highway appears on the east (Illinois) side of the bridge.

See also


  1. "City of Chester, Illinois". Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  2. "City of Chester, Illinois". Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  3. Map of the Missouri State Highway System Archived 2012-09-13 at the Wayback Machine as of January 1, 1953
  4. "". Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  5. "Popeye Character Trail Map" (PDF). City of Chester, Illinois. July 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  6. Jerry Hay (2013). "Mississippi River: Historic Sites and Interesting Places". ISBN 9781467562508. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. Jerome Pohlen (2012). "Oddball Illinois". ISBN 9781613740354. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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