Did you know that Memorial Dr, long ago known as Third St, was once just a two lane road? It’s hard to imagine when looking at Memorial Dr in it’s current state—3 lanes in each direction with a 4 soon to be 5 lane moat interstate depressed in the median. And did you also know that before Memorial Dr divided downtown St. Louis from its riverfront that it was ever so briefly a six-lane expressway/boulevard?

Third street as 6 lane expressway/boulevard

The Third Street Expressway was completed in late 1955 and connected the Ozark Expressway on the south to the Mark Twain Expressway on the north. Though not easily visible in the picture above, the expressway had six intersections with the downtown grid from Walnut St to Locust St, 2 more than exist today.

Less than 10 years later, the brand new road passing between downtown and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial was dug up and a trench put in it’s place where I-70 (soon I-44) now runs.

Posted by Herbie Markwort

I like to write about transportation.