Site where the movie "Escape from New York" was filmed reopened
9 Mar 2010
The Granite City Illinois bridge was chosen by John Carpenter in 1981 as the main site for the filming of his cult classic "Escape from New York'. The bridge spans the Mississippi River which is the actual state line that divides Illinois and Missouri. The residents of both states were excited that Hollywood was coming to the Midwest. The bridge was barricaded at both ends. The film crew, director, producers and actors worked for months on the movie. There was always a crowd congregating around the area every day with the hope of getting a glimpse of Snake Plissken, the main star in the movie played by Kurt Russel. Most of the movie was filmed in Saint Louis. Twelfth Street, Broadway, St. Charles Street, Grand Boulevard and Union Station were among the areas used in the filming of the movie.
Shortly after the movie was finished and Hollywood went home the Chain of Rocks bridge was closed. The bridge was considered no longer safe for the heavy traffic passing over her daily. The structor was deteriorating after decades of exposure to various weather conditions. The bridge was closed for eighteen years. In the late nineties it reopened. Now hundreds of Missouri and Illinois residents visit the bridge in January and early February to view the American bald Eagle as they migrate through the Midwest.
The bridge is open year round for bicycling, jogging and walking. The view from the bridge as the sun sets over the Mississippi River is beautiful. The river in the winter is frozen in various sections. The trees lining the banks of the river in October explodes with orange and yellow color. A breeze from the river makes a summer walk enjoyable and relaxing. There are two small Gothic water intakes built in 1894 still in use, in the center of the river. The length of the bridge is at a mile. It is truly a photographers paradise. There is a lot of history in its old structor and truly is a asset to both States.