How Devil’s Elbow Became a Forgotten Missouri Bridge on Route 66
It used to be known as being the only bridge on Route 66 that featured a curve. Now, this Missouri bridge known as Devil's Curve has been left behind by time although life continues to cross it to this day.
The story of Devil's Elbow goes back more than 200 years. The Pulaski County, Missouri website says that as far back as 1816 timber and railroad ties would be shipped to St. Louis via the Big Piney River. The Devil's Elbow bridge was built along one of the only curves on that river - hence the name.
Eventually, Route 66 was constructed and went right across this historic bridge and brought with it business and residents.
The bridge itself was built exactly 100 years ago in 1923. It was at the time the only curved bridge on Route 66.
Over the years, Route 66 would eventually be rerouted elsewhere leaving Devil's Elbow as a lonely place where many of the people and businesses would relocate elsewhere. The bridge never changed, but times did and left it behind. It's still one of the stunning sights you'll see if you float the Big Piney River in this part of the Ozarks.
Devil's Elbow is not going away though. The Pulaski County website mentions that renovation work was done to restore it in 2014. The traffic is not what it used to be during its Route 66 heyday, but Devil's Elbow remains a quiet expanse over some of Missouri's most beautiful waters.