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-   -   Best Bridge Across the Mississippi (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1201098)

jamawani 05-11-20 09:03 PM

Best Bridge Across the Mississippi
 
(Because there really needs to be a fresh thread.)

My vote for the best bridge across the Mississippi is the Centennial Bridge between Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa.
3 reasons -
1. It is a beautiful arched bridge.
2. It has a safe, wide walkway/bikeway.
3. The Mississippi River runs east-to-west in this stretch -
So, there are beautiful bike trails along the river for miles on either side.

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...582dcbfad.jpeg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...8c2c975cd.jpeg




On a different note -
The best ferry across the Mississippi used to be the Golden Eagle Ferry.
Long ago - i.e. 1980s - they used one of the last side-wheelers.
Still operates - still pleasant.

Doug64 05-11-20 09:14 PM

Itasca State Park, in northern Minnisota
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...b7c7b0f8_b.jpg

indyfabz 05-12-20 06:10 AM

Is there another bridge from Davenport? We stayed there in Ď99 during a Northern Tier tour. On a rest day I rode to Moline via Rock Island to visit the John Deere Center. Have no recollection of riding that bridge, but it was so long ago.

indyfabz 05-12-20 06:11 AM


Originally Posted by Doug64 (Post 21469766)
Itasca State Park, in northern Minnisota
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...b7c7b0f8_b.jpg

Been there. Done that.

jamawani 05-12-20 06:46 AM

There is the Rock Island Arsenal Bridge -
which is a low-slung, combined railroad bridge.
Ugly as sin.

rifraf 05-12-20 06:59 AM

Perhaps apt for a little Larkin Poe?
 
Larkin Poe paying homage to Mississippi

robow 05-12-20 10:51 AM

Can't say the best until you've seen the worst. This is one long haul.

https://youtu.be/CvhpyuSDHSo#t=20s

Tourist in MSN 05-12-20 12:33 PM

I grew up in Minneapolis, I can't remember how many different bridges I have crossed over the Mississippi, either in vehicles or on a motorcycle. But now that I think of it I can't remember ever bicycling across more than one of them. There were a couple that instead of a paved deck had steel grating that would make your motorcycle wobble all over the place if you had not remembered it was there.

Probably my favorite was Washington Ave bridge, that split the University campus into two parts and I walked across that bridge hundreds of times between classes. Not sure how many times I rode a bicycle across it.

stardognine 05-12-20 07:47 PM

I kinda wish someone from St. Louis would chime in. There are actually several bridges there, it looked like, but I think I took one of the wrong ones. 🙄😉

And thatís hardly even a River, way up in Minnesota. 🤪 They have to travel South awhile, to get to be big rivers. 😁😉

jamawani 05-12-20 10:14 PM

In St. Louis, you should always take the historic Eads Bridge if you are biking X-USA.
The supports are underneath with no superstructure - so you have a panoramic view of the Arch and the city.

SalsaShark 05-12-20 11:04 PM

We've got two bridges over the Mississippi that i ride across regularly. The Julien Dubuque bridge crosses from Iowa to Illinois, and has a seperate footpath away from the automobile traffic.
The other bridge connects Iowa to Wisconsin, and is a 4-Lane divided highway with a fairly wide shoulder (albeit with drainage grates and usually a fair amout of road debris). I regularly ride a tri-state loop, starting across one bridge, crossing the state line on the other side of the river, and returning on the other bridge back into Iowa. Both bridges offer good views of the river and bluffs, but i think most people would prefer the aesthetics of the Julien Dubuque bridge. Interestingly, a lot of locals despise riding across this bridge's seperated footpath, as it is not very wide, and enclosed by chain link fencing - i have no problems with it.

DropBarFan 05-12-20 11:27 PM

Centennial Bridge looks great esp when there are so many bridges than forbid cyclists. DC-area riders can't reach the beach without waiting & paying for $$ taxi vans to cross the big Chesapeake bridges.

boomhauer 05-13-20 12:19 AM


Originally Posted by SalsaShark (Post 21471888)
We've got two bridges over the Mississippi that i ride across regularly. The Julien Dubuque bridge crosses from Iowa to Illinois, and has a seperate footpath away from the automobile traffic.
The other bridge connects Iowa to Wisconsin, and is a 4-Lane divided highway with a fairly wide shoulder (albeit with drainage grates and usually a fair amout of road debris). I regularly ride a tri-state loop, starting across one bridge, crossing the state line on the other side of the river, and returning on the other bridge back into Iowa. Both bridges offer good views of the river and bluffs, but i think most people would prefer the aesthetics of the Julien Dubuque bridge. Interestingly, a lot of locals despise riding across this bridge's seperated footpath, as it is not very wide, and enclosed by chain link fencing - i have no problems with it.

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...a7708fb1c6.jpg

indyfabz 05-13-20 03:53 AM


Originally Posted by jamawani (Post 21470169)
There is the Rock Island Arsenal Bridge -
which is a low-slung, combined railroad bridge.
Ugly as sin.

Thanks. Definitely remember riding that.

SalsaShark 05-13-20 07:11 AM


Originally Posted by boomhauer (Post 21471924)

Well that looks mighty familiar - Illinois straight ahead!

Doug64 05-13-20 10:50 AM


Originally Posted by SalsaShark (Post 21472223)
Well that looks mighty familiar - Illinois straight ahead!

Yup, It did feel a little strange riding on it, but I don't know why.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...c4417f2b_b.jpg

bikemig 05-13-20 11:00 AM

I grew up in New Orleans. The best way to cross the Mississippi was the Canal Street Ferry. It gives you great views of the city and the French quarter.

https://www.neworleans.com/plan/tran...algiers-ferry/

I visited L. Itasca when I rode across the US on the Adventure Cyclist northern tier. For a New Orleans boy, it sure was fun walking across the Mississippi River.

I live in central Iowa now and I enjoy checking out all the river towns in the eastern part of the state. Plus the driftless region (SW WI, SE MN, and NW IA) has great scenery, hiking, and biking. I'll have to check out the Centennial Bridge. Thanks to jamawani for starting this thread.

Toadmeister 05-13-20 07:09 PM

Just because I rode it the other day, LaCrosse, WI,

There used to be only the single Cass St. bridge but they added a brother a few years back. Nice ride from LaCrescent MN across the river.

City workers were actually cleaning off the gutters Tuesday with water trucks, power washers, and by shovel.

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...001b85cbe.jpeg

Toadmeister 05-13-20 07:13 PM


Originally Posted by SalsaShark (Post 21472223)
Well that looks mighty familiar - Illinois straight ahead!


ive lived around Dubuque for almost 20 years now but have yet to try this bridge. With the Devils lettuce now being legal in Illinois, I would expect more bike traffic...

Toadmeister 05-13-20 07:18 PM


Originally Posted by jamawani (Post 21470169)
There is the Rock Island Arsenal Bridge -
which is a low-slung, combined railroad bridge.
Ugly as sin.


true, but it gives it charm :)

rode it last year for the Tour de Brew

SalsaShark 05-13-20 10:28 PM


Originally Posted by Toadmeister (Post 21473543)
ive lived around Dubuque for almost 20 years now but have yet to try this bridge. With the Devils lettuce now being legal in Illinois, I would expect more bike traffic...

They installed a bunch of new cameras on the bridge this last year to help keep track of the traffic crossing for this very reason. There is a lot more bike traffic and new riders this spring, with people looking for things to do to occupy their time with the social distancing regulations in place. I rarely encounter anybody riding or walking on the bridge, though.

cyccommute 05-14-20 08:17 AM

Chain Of Rocks has got to be on the list. Car sized but no cars.

L134 05-14-20 09:06 AM


Originally Posted by cyccommute (Post 21474372)
Chain Of Rocks has got to be on the list. Car sized but no cars.

Added bonus, it is on Old Route 66.
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...dbbe0d36a8.jpg
Gateway Trailnet (now Trailnet - trailnet.org) made this happen.

staehpj1 05-19-20 08:01 AM

I remember the bridge at Chester IL as being unpleasant with a poor surface, no shoulder, lots of traffic, bad expansion joints, and so on. It was a wait for a lull in traffic, take the lane, and make a fast run for it kind of situation. Far from ideal and probably many folks nightmare stuff, but it didn't scar me for life or anything.

I forget what the bridge was like at Baton Rouge, so it must not have been too bad. I think it had a nice shoulder, but my recollection is hazy.

pdlamb 05-19-20 08:47 AM

I was really glad to be westbound out of Chester because it was mostly downhill! I suspect that bridge dates back to the WPA. Nice view from the middle of the river, but no place to stop to take a picture. :(

JeffL 05-19-20 09:06 AM

McKinley Bridge
 

Originally Posted by stardognine (Post 21471669)
I kinda wish someone from St. Louis would chime in. There are actually several bridges there, it looked like, but I think I took one of the wrong ones. 🙄😉

And thatís hardly even a River, way up in Minnesota. 🤪 They have to travel South awhile, to get to be big rivers. 😁😉

I lived in the Metro East area of Illinois from 2012 to 2018, and often rode into St. Louis from Illinois. In my opinion the best crossing of the Mississippi in the area is over the McKinley Bridge at Venice, IL. There's a wide, separated bike/pedestrian lane which connects to the Riverfront Trail on the Missouri side. Venice is a small town, and a couple miles of low-traffic street riding through there connect you to Madison County trail system, which allows you to escape all the heavy traffic in the Metro East.

I prefer the McKinley Bridge to the Eads Bridge for a couple of reasons: The McKinley Bridge's separated bike/pedestrian line is wider (and in my experience, cleaner) than the one on the Eads. And riding through Venice is a lot more pleasant, IMHO, than riding in East St. Louis. The crime situation in East St. Louis is probably exaggerated, but I always felt better riding through Venice.

staehpj1 05-19-20 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by pdlamb (Post 21484311)
I was really glad to be westbound out of Chester because it was mostly downhill! I suspect that bridge dates back to the WPA. Nice view from the middle of the river, but no place to stop to take a picture. :(

Yeah, it was probably tougher going eastbound as we were. We also were in the middle of a heat wave. It seemed like every newspaper we saw had a headline about record breaking heat. We sat in the AC and had milkshakes when we got to Chester. BTW, Chester "Home of Popeye" has a ton of Popeye related stuff for those who are interested. Pretty much everything there was Popeye themed.
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...7b1a983a1.jpeg

TulsaJohn 05-19-20 03:14 PM

I prefer ferries whenever I can take them. The new bike bridge from Memphis to West Memphis is really nice. Not a scenic bridge, but nice to bike.

When I rode the Chester bridge, I "think" it had a metal decking but didn't effect me either way. That was in '82 so can't quite remember. I do remember that one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen was a life guard at the pool. I was only 17 but she was a stunner.

Tailwinds, John

staehpj1 05-19-20 04:22 PM


Originally Posted by TulsaJohn (Post 21485163)
When I rode the Chester bridge, I "think" it had a metal decking but didn't effect me either way. That was in '82 so can't quite remember. I do remember that one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen was a life guard at the pool. I was only 17 but she was a stunner.

I can't say for sure what the surface was when I was there, but do remember it being bad.

tcs 05-20-20 06:40 AM


Originally Posted by TulsaJohn (Post 21485163)
The new bike bridge from Memphis to West Memphis is really nice. Not a scenic bridge, but nice to bike.

The bridge has even got its own website: Big River Crossing


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