Hannibal in Marion County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Mark Twain Memorial Bridge
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the original bridge on September 4, 1936 with more than 75,000 people in attendance.
Missouri U.S. Senator and future president, Harry S. Truman was among the dignitaries present.
This bridge was designed solely for the use of automobiles. Previously, trains, automobiles, horse-drawn vehicles, and pedestrians used the Wabash Train Bridge located to the north.
A toll was charged for the first four years the bridge was in service to cover the construction costs of the project.
The bridge spanned 2,636 feet across the Mississippi river. It contained 5.3 million pounds of fabricated structural steel and 645,000 pounds of reinforcing steel.
A recurring summer problem was the swarming of mayflies attracted to the bridge lights. At times, the pavement was covered 2 inches thick by the insects, causing it to become extremely slick. Snow plows were necessary for their removal.
The bridge was closed during the flood of 1993 from July to September. Water covered the approach on the Illinois side.
The bridge closed to traffic on Saturday, September 16, 2000
Demolition of the bridge began on January 8, 2001 with the blasting of the first span. Seven months were required to remove the old bridge.
(adjacent 1935 WPA marker)
Named as a tribute to the memory of
Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) on the
occasion of the centennial of his birth
Federal Emergency Administration
of Public Works
Project No. 8624
City of Hannibal, Missouri
in co-operation with
Hannibal Chamber of Commerce
Financed with the assistance of
Missouri State Highway Commission
Illinois State Department
of Public Works and Buildings
Pine County, Illinois.
Sverdrup and Parcel
St. Louis, Mo.
The Mt. Vernon Bridge Co.
Union Bridge & Constr. Co.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Bridges & Viaducts. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #33 Harry S. Truman, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects series lists.
Location. 39° 42.798′ N, 91° 21.485′ W. Marker is in Hannibal, Missouri, in Marion County. Marker can be Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hannibal MO 63401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Hatten House (within shouting distance of this marker); Hannibal (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "Huckleberry Finn House" Reconstruction (about 300 feet away); Mark Twain (about 400 feet away); The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Mark Twain (about 400 feet away); Mark Twain's Boyhood Home (about 500 feet away); Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hannibal.
Also see . . .
1. Mark Twain Memorial Bridge (1936). The Mark Twain Memorial Bridge was a Cantilevered Through Truss Bridge carrying US 36 over the Mississippi River. The bridge, which replaced motor vehicle use of the Wabash Bridge, was opened in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and entered Missouri at the foot of Cardiff Hill (which appeared in Twain's books). Today, only the Western abutment remains with informational signs along the old roadway. (Submitted on April 10, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Mark Twain Memorial Bridge (2000). The Mark Twain Memorial Bridge is a bridge over the Mississippi River at Hannibal, Missouri, childhood home of Mark Twain, for whom the bridge is named. The bridge, north of the original bridge, was finished in 2000. The bridge carries traffic for Interstate 72 and U.S. Highway 36. The state of Missouri has put up a stone picture of Twain on the Missouri side of the bridge. (Submitted on April 10, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. This video documents one of the final days the 1936 era Mark Twain Memorial Bridge was open. The bridge was replaced by a new bridge also named Mark Twain Memorial Bridge that opened September 16, 2000. (Submitted on April 10, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 8, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 118 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 9, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.