Five years before the Interstate Highway Act that would, literally, lay the groundwork for the nation’s system of highways and bridges, Peoria was already planning a major construction project across the Illinois River. The project which would eventually become the Murray M Baker Bridge had been under study since 1940. It would be another 7 years before it was completed, but politicians, planners and businessmen already had their eyes on clearing out property from North Washington street to make room for new on and off ramps for the future bridge.