The Mark Twain Memorial Bridge
is the name for two bridges over the Mississippi River
at Hannibal, Missouri
, childhood home of Mark Twain
, for whom the bridge is named. The current bridge, north of the original site, was finished in 2000; the original bridge, built in 1936, was demolished. The bridge currently 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.
The original bridge (also called the Mark Twain Memorial 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 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
. A crosswalk crossed the highway, connecting the Twain boyhood home with the lighthouse at the top of the hill. It originally carried only US 36, but with the extension of Interstate 72 west across Missouri, a new bridge was needed and was built to the north of the original bridge.
The current bridge opened to traffic on September 16, 2000. As part of the construction project, U.S. 36 was rerouted further north, eliminating a dangerous sharp curve that had been on the Missouri approach. Prior to the rerouting, the old bridge ran through downtown Hannibal, just north of Hill Street. The cost of the bridge was $55 million.