The main truss structure of the bridge was destroyed in a storm in July of 1944. The truss was rebuilt, but the bridge was closed for 2 years during the reconstruction.
Chester is the home town of Elzie Crisler Segar, the cartoonist who created ‘Popeye The Sailor Man’. There is a small park on the Illinois side of the crossing to remember Segar, which includes a life-sized statue of Popeye. The city celebrates Segar in the annual Popeye Festival held each labor day weekend.
The village of Kaskaskia is located on the west side of the Mississippi River just upriver of Chester. Kaskaskia was a commercial and transportation hub in the 1800s. In fact, it was the first capital of Illinois until 1820. The Mississippi River shifted course to the east side of Kaskaskia in the middle and late 1800s. As a result, the village is now located on the west side of the Mississippi River. But since the state line follows the historic path of the Mississippi River, Kaskaskia remains a part of the state of Illinois. The fortunes of Kaskaskia started to wane following the shifting of the river. Its population steadily declined throughout the 1900s with only 9 people remaining in 2000.
The photo above is looking northwest towards the Chester Bridge just after the sun has set behind the river bluffs on the west side of the Mississippi River. The photo below is a view from the edge of the river bluff on the east side of the river from a vantage point located near the Popeye statue.