THE EADS BRIDGE AND THE ISLAND

Approximately 80 feet from the stone arch on the east end of the bridge, the road divides and descends at a rate of about three feet in 100. The division was considered necessary so that the railroad tracks could be laid with a fairly gentle descent. About 1,400 feet east of the main portion of the bridge, the highway and railway tracks were on the same level for distance before the tracks were once again elevated above the roadway on either side.

The eastern approach to Eads Bridge passes through what once was known as Bloody Island. A local historian described it thusly: "All over the Island forming the west part of the city, the lively business aspects are very interesting. The Island has the Presbyterian Church and Douglas Public School. A natural feature that we see is the old eastern channel of the river. Under the eastern approach of the great bridge we see the Avenue Dike (elevated roadway). To the left is Bowman's dike, crossing the channel from the island to the railway depot. Trestle works for the railroad also cross the old channel from the island eastward, north and south of the dikes. A third prominent crest, which was erected at great cost (as were the others), is Vaughan Dike. As we cross the Avenue Dike we can see the long strip of land lying east of the old channel. This is what remains of that fine body of timbered land half a mile wide, which in 1800 divided Cahokia Creek and the Mississippi. This strip is now probably 50 paces wide."

 

BACK

 

top.gif (906 bytes)