ST. LOUIS – Most highways out of the City of St. Louis are networks that cross a river in the city or St. Louis County. There’s at least one exception to that norm.
Missouri Route 100 is quite a unique path out of St. Louis.
The eastern end of the highway concludes just west of the Mississippi River, represented locally as Chouteau Avenue near Third Street.
How far does Missouri Route 100 go? Drivers can take it westbound all the way through Linn, Missouri, a small town in Osage County that’s not too far from the state capitol in Jefferson City.
The Missouri Department of Transportation estimates that Route 100 covers around 120 miles from start to finish. If you stayed true to the original path, it would probably take several hours to complete from St. Louis to Linn, Missouri.
For reference, FOX 2 created a map on Google Maps that shows the approximate path of Missouri Route 100.
Route 100 runs through the City of St. Louis and four other Missouri counties. From east to west, those are St. Louis, Franklin, Gasconade and Osage counties.
The route runs along Chouteau Avenue and Manchester Avenue in the City of St. Louis and borders parts of at least 10 St. Louis neighborhoods. As the St. Louis City-County line, its local namesake changes to Manchester Road.
As Route 100 shares the path with Manchester Road, it touches parts of 11 municipalities, including parts of Maplewood, Kirkwood and Ballwin. The path for Manchester Road diverts near Wildwood, the last municipality in St. Louis County before Route 100 enters Franklin County.
From its end point in St. Louis City to its end point in St. Louis County, Missouri Route 100 covers nearly 30 miles. The entire trip takes about an hour in favorable traffic conditions.
YouTube creator Dozenspeed took on that challenge in April 2020. In a sped-up dashcam video, viewers can see how the route changes from being part of a very suburban atmosphere to a rather rural environment at the Franklin County line.
As for the river reference, Missouri Route 100 does not cross a river until Gasconade County over the Gasconade Bridge. So it does eventually cross a river, just not through the St. Louis metro.
One viewer on Dozenspeed’s video left an interesting comment as to how Route 100 might benefit without quickly crossing a river:
“‘Back in the day’ circa 1990’s when everybody thought the New Madrid fault was going to pop, the idea was to find a way out of St. Louis without having to cross a bridge over a river. But, even highway 100 crosses I-270 in Des Peres, so, while one is not crossing a river, one would still have to get across I-270 – unless THAT overpass has been strengthened to withstand a major earthquake.”
Throughout the years, Missouri Route 100 has also been known as a former network to Route 66 and a significant part of the Lewis and Clark Trail. St. Louis Magazine also dove deep into the history of Missouri Route 100 in a 2008 feature story.